We’ve all become more interested in, and more appreciative of, ornamental grasses in recent years. At the same time, with our smaller gardens, we’ve realised that plants with a long season of interest, or more than one appealing feature, are especially valuable.
The two trends come together in this new dwarf miscanthus from Germany, ‘Little Miss’.
Making neat, tight clumps reaching not more than 60-90cm in height, noticeably more compact than so many miscanthus, the slender pointed foliage emerges bright green in spring.
In early May the colouring begins to intensify, adding purple and reddish-pink tones, and becoming increasingly rich until in November it’s developed its deepest tones. The base of the leaves retains its original green colour creating a two-tone effect. Also, from July onwards, the red plumes emerge maturing into creamy biscuit beige and lasting into October.
Neat enough for containers and lovely in clumps or drifts with autumn daisies, small-flowered dahlias in harmonising tones and the last echinaceas and kniphofias, ‘Little Miss’ is vigorous but not invasive. It’s tough and once established is usefully drought resistant.
‘Little Miss’ was found as a seedling in the garden of German miscanthus specialist Klaus Menzel in 2004. He grew a number of named forms and unnamed seedlings at the time, and picked this seedling out for its dwarf habit and long season of colour.
Combining neat growth with so much colour and interest, with ‘Little Miss’ grasses take another step forward.
Miscanthus sinensis 'Little Miss' is available from these RHS Plant Finder nurseries.
Please note, the contents of this blog reflect the views of its author, which are not necessarily those of the RHS.