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Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola'
Deer Resistant IconRock Garden Icon

Plant Type: Grasses, Perennials

2009 Perennial of the Year! An intriguing grass for the shade which is perfect for the formal Japanese garden.Variegated but nearly all yellow, the leaf blades have narrow green stripes, mostly near the margins.

Hakonechloa is grown mainly for its beautiful foliage, though it does produce seed heads. Tiny, inconspicuous flower spikes appear in airy clusters from late summer through mid-fall. Perhaps its most fascinating attribute is the cascading habit in which most of the leaves arch in the same direction, appearing much like a golden waterfall. Plant this grass where it will cascade down slopes, drape over rocks, crawl over the edges of walls,at the front of the garden, or even in containers. Though this grass does spread by stolens, it is a slow grower and will not rapidly overtake its neighbors. When grown in part shade, the yellow tones in the leaves will be most pronounced. In deep shade, the variegation will be lime green. In the cooler days of autumn,the golden foliage becomes infused with shades of pink and red. People in milder climates will be able to enjoy the buff color of this grass all winter. In colder climates, it will die all the way back to the ground.

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Growing & Maintenance Tips:

Hakonechloa is most at home in shaded, woodland environments where the soil is rich and loamy. This grass will not grow in poorly drained soil, heavy clay, or very dry soils. Part to full shade is best; full hot sun tends to scorch the leaves. Since it is such a slow grower, it will not be necessary to divide this grass for many years. However,division is easily accomplished and may be done in spring or fall. In zones 5-6, mulch it with fall leaves to a depth of about 2 feet and cover the pile with branches to keep the mulch in place. In southern zones, this mulch is not necessary. In early spring, remove the leaves and cut back last year's foliage to allow room for the new growth.

Flower Color

Tan shades

Foliage Color


Plant Spread

2-3 ft.

Good Companions

Plant Height

1-2 ft.

Scape Height

Hardness Zone


Soil Moisture

Average and consistent water needs

Characteristics & Attributes


Border, Mass Plant, Container, Specimen, Edging

Bloom Time

Grown for its attractive foliage, Late summer, Early fall , Mid-fall

Critter Resistance

Deer resistant


Part to full shade

Growth Rate


Seasonal Interests

Midfall to late fall