Plant Taxonomy of Golden Hakone Grass:
This ornamental grass if grown for its attractive variegated foliage: it is green and gold and can also display a pleasing admixture of red. It is arching in habit. The plant does produce a flower, but the bloom is considered insignificant. Plants will grow about a foot high, with a slightly greater spread.
Planting Zones for Golden Hakone Grass:
Sun and Soil Requirements:
Uses for Japanese Forest Grass:
Use for a well-behaved ground cover in shady spots, including along a shaded border or on the face of a hillside that is located in partial shade.
Its brightly-colored leaves make it a natural choice for various landscape color schemes. For example, if you are an admirer of blue and gold color schemes, grow it with shade-tolerant, blue-flowered companions such as Jacob's ladder and 'Jack Frost' Brunnera. Or to go strictly with foliage plants, combine it with blue-leaved hosta plants.
Golden Hakone Grass and Deer:
Japanese forest grasses are deer-resistant plants.
Care for Japanese Forest Grass:
Some mulch the plant for winter protection at the northern limits of its range, although I have not bothered doing so here in zone 5 and the plant has survived just fine. Mulch will also help the soil around your plants retain moisture in summer and keep weeds at bay.
But this is a low-maintenance plant. Remove the dead foliage from the prior season's growth any time from late fall to early spring. I tend to leave the dead foliage alone until spring, figuring that it affords a bit of winter protection. Divide in spring, if desired.
I have already mentioned shade-tolerance and deer-resistance; I regard both as outstanding qualities of this ornamental grass.
In addition, this type of ornamental grass is not invasive.
Meaning of the Botanical Name:
Let's conclude with a look at the meaning behind the scientific name, Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola.'
Hakone is a mountain in the plant's native Japan, while chloa is Greek for "grass." Meanwhile, macra indicates "big" in Greek. As already mentioned, the cultivar name 'Aureola' means "golden."