Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola'
GOLDEN JAPANESE FOREST GRASS
GOLDEN VARIEGATED HAKONE GRASS
syn. H. 'Albo-aurea'
Pronounced: hah-koe-neh-KLOE-uh MAY-kruh
Sunset zones: 2b-9, 14-24.
USDA zones: 5-9.
Heat zones: 9-5.
Height: 14 inches (35 cm).
Width: 16 inches (40 cm).
Leaves are bright yellow with narrow green stripes that flush red in the fall.
Full sun to full shade.
Moist, humus rich, well-drained soil.
Divide in spring.
Cut old stems to the ground in late winter to early spring.
Pests and Diseases:
Seldom bothered by either.
Rainy Side Notes
When I view Hakonechloa 'Aureola', there appears to be movement in its form. I see flowing water, as its golden leaves grow slightly upwards, then cascade down in a sinuous fashion. Even its name, when spoken, sounds as graceful and flowing as the grass.
This handsome, slow creeping, deciduous grass should find a place in many gardens. Even though it is a creeper, it is never invasive. It grows in shade, where its light color illuminates a shadowy area. It complements the leaves of many dark green leaf plants. About the only thing I can say that could be negative about the golden variegated grass is it dies back to the ground in winter. Even though it hides out during the cold months, this grass is perfect for many areas in the garden, from sunny spots to cool shade. As a container plant, it can add a lot of charm to any pot when it cascades over the sides like a waterfall.
The variegation and color of the leaves vary, depending on the climate and lighting conditions. When this ornamental grass grows in the shade, the leaves take on a lime green color. In full sun in our cool climate of the Pacific Northwest, the leaves are more a cream-white instead of the bright yellow that happens in much warmer climates. During the cooler months of spring and fall, the leaves take on red to pink tints.
Hakon is a region in Japan and chloa is the Greek word for grass. Macra is the epithet for large.
The Royal Horticultural Society gave it an Award of Garden Merit.
Photographed in Lisa Albert's Oregon garden.