Gotta Have It: Hakonechloa

This has to be my favourite grass.  Hakonechloa or Japanese Forest grass is a lovely thing.

I first planted it in Kingston and only had it for two years before Ian got transferred to London.

But I felt inspired all over again when I visited Frank Kershaw’s garden during my garden design class at George Brown College. He has an amazing garden and in one corner his property is lower then his neighbours.  This influenced him to build a rock “waterfall” using hakonechloa grass as the water tumbling down.  It was stunning and I wish that my camera had not been broken so I could share a picture of this.

That year I went out and purchased two haks.

Hakonechloa macra "Albostriata"

Hakonechloa macra "Albostriata"

 You can see the Albostriata has a white stripe on its leaf.

I also bought this one.

Hakonechloa macro "All Gold"

Hakonechloa macro "All Gold"

 This one is more upright and spiky.

Even though the grasses are slow to bulk up they are a respectable size after two years in the garden. They can take full sun to part shade and are listed as hardy zones 6-9, but Owen Sound is in zone 5 and mine are very happy.  Of course, the ten feet of snow that Owen Sound gets EVERY winter may have something to do with that!


This one I bought this year.  It is the Perennial Plant of the Year for 2009 and Loblaws certainly tried to promote it by bringing in hundreds of these to their garden centres across Ontario.  I waited to purchase it until it went on sale (cease you Scottish blood).  They were all sold out in Toronto, but the good people of Owen Sound did not find it so appealing and I was able to purchase two there for 1/2 price.  Because it had sat on the table all spring, it had been subjected to a bit of torture, but now it has a happy home in my garden and will be busy bulking up (hopefully) alongside of his brothers.

Hakonechloa macra "Aureola"

Hakonechloa macra "Aureola"

There are so many other varieties of this grass and I would like to see them all. Lost Horizons carries 8 different varieties on their website (no pictures unfortunately), but I have purchased plants there and have always been very happy with how healthy they are.



5 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Barbara H. said,

    Hi Deborah! Can’t remember if I read this before or not, but I love the idea of the waterfall. Printed the first page with that idea to remind myself. Maybe now this plant will manifest itself quickly at a shopping stop so I can get some. Thanks!

  2. 3

    Elephant's Eye said,

    Add another visit. How many have you now? Don’t know how wordpress or whatever stats work, but with blogspot I have to remind myself that ‘today’s readers’ are reading ‘today’s post’ My statcounter calls that ‘direct’. Those Readers have me on their blogroll/favourites/bookmarks.

    • 4

      Diana, 18 readers have now viewed my orginal post. When I had a problem last week with Blotanical “losing” my post, I still had a lot of views as most of my readers come to me another way.
      When I started blogging, I thought that readers would go back into your archives, so I didn’t want to repeat myself. I find that very few readers do, and I wanted more people to hear about what a great grass Hakonecholoa is, so I repeated it.

      • 5

        Elephant's Eye said,

        As a reader I do trawl the archives in search of something in particular, sometimes. And as a blogger, I will refurbish an older post from when I had NO readers, if I think it is worth it.

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