Golden Japanese Forest Grass
Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola'
The yellow leaves have narrow green stripes. The arching flow of the leaves gives a sense of movement, much like a cascading waterfall. Plant this grass where it will cascade down slopes, drape over rocks, spill over the edges of walls or in the border or a container.
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Golden Japanese Forest Grass ‘Aureola’ is a golden-striped form of Hakone grass. It is a rhizomatous, deciduous perennial grass that typically grows in dense spreading clumps to 15” tall and features gracefully arching green leaves variegated with gold longitudinal striping. Yellow-green flowers appear in loose, nodding panicles in mid-summer. Species plants reportedly have better winter hardiness and perform better in full sun exposures than ‘Areola’. Golden Japanese Forest Grass is Best grown in humusy, consistently moist, well-drained soils in part shade. Tolerates close to full shade, particularly in the hot summer climates of the deep South. Best growth occurs in climates with cool summer temperatures. Plant foliage will burn in full sun locations. Plant foliage will lose color intensity (particularly on variegated leaf cultivars) in full shade. Clumps spread by rhizomes, but are not considered to be invasive. Mulch in winter. Trim foliage to the ground in late winter to early spring before the new shoots emerge. Propagation is easiest by division. Species plants (not cultivars thereof) may be grown by seed. Leaf variegation color is affected by the amount of sun exposure and the growing climate. In St. Louis, the variegated striping appears gold in part shade. Plants will grow well in deeper shade (particularly in hot summer climates), but the gold variegation changes to lime green. Hakonechloa macra, commonly called Hakone grass, is a rhizomatous, shade-loving, deciduous perennial grass that is native both to moist mountain areas including wet rocky cliffs and to moist woodland areas in central Japan, including areas around Mt. Hakone from which both its genus name and common name are derived. Other common names include forest grass and Japanese forest grass. Gracefully arching, linear-lanceolate, bright green leaves (to 10" long and 3/8" wide) form dense, spreading, cascading mounds to 12-18" tall and to 24" wide. Leaves have a papery texture resembling the leaves of some types of bamboo. Genus name comes from the Japanese place named Hakone and the Greek word chloa meaning a grass. Specific epithet means large.