Many gardeners turn out to be a little disappointed with the miscanthus they grow. I suspect that this is because they opt for older, often cheaper, varieties which grow too tall for many gardens, spread too strongly, flower so late in the season that they may not flower at all and when they do flower prove to be rather murky in colour.
Many newer varieties are shorter in growth, more colourful and earlier into flower - so step forward Red Cloud (‘EMPMIS01’).
Reaching no more than 1m in height, Red Cloud can be grown in a container or in borders, it does well in sun or partial shade and is hardy down to -23°C. The abundant rich red plumes feature a silvery background and open in August and September and each slender leaf even has a narrow white stripe along the centre.
Red Cloud was selected at Dutch grasses specialist Empho B.V. from a batch of open pollinated seedlings. Peter van Rijssen of Plantipp, who are marketing the plant in Europe, told me: “It was selected in 2010 and stood out because of its early flowering, its compact habit, its long flowering time and its rich red flowers that hold for long time.”
You can order Miscanthus sinensis Red Cloud (‘EMPMIS01’) from these RHS Plant Finder nurseries.