Hakonechloa macra

Japanese forest grass

(4 customer reviews)


A small, part-shade loving perennial bunchgrass, the Japanese Forest Grass forms a graceful fountain shape as it grows, slowly spreading and brightening up darker areas of the garden.

Hakonechloa macra produces luscious paper thin foliage, somewhat reminiscent of bamboo but in an alluring bright green. In autumn this foliage can develop orange, red or purple tones.


*(parcel orders over £60.00 and pallet deliveries over £350.00)

Order today for shipping on Friday 31st May.

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Origin: Eastern Asia
Genus: Hakonechloa
Species / Cultivar: macra
Common Name: Japanese forest grass
Synonym: Phragmites macer

Plant Biography

Native to Japan where it’s endemic to moist mountain areas of cliffs and woodland, including Mt. Hakone from which it derives its Latin genus and common name.

Japanese Forest Grass makes for a perfect spreading ornamental grass for shady locations, aesthetically reminiscent of Japanese style gardens.

It works brilliantly when used to create groundcover or accents in woodland gardens, is perfectly pleasing along paths and walkways and even looks fantastic in containers.

Hakonechloa macra
Soil: Moist but Well Drained
Soil that allows water to drain at a moderate rate, without the water pooling.
Growth Rate: Medium
Expect to see moderate growth during growing season.
Water Requirement: Medium
Once it is established, this plant is likely to only require watering during drier periods.
Maintenance: Low
Minimal skill or input needed beyond the basics, a very independent plant.
Situation: Part Shade
Enjoys several hours of direct sunlight but may enjoy dappling or shade at midday.
Eventual Height: 0.5m
The plant's ultimate height in typical growing conditions.
Eventual Spread: 0.5m
The plant's ultimate spread in typical growing conditions.
Hardiness: Fully Hardy
Will survive unprotected outdoors in most areas of the UK, even in the harshest winters.
Habit: Deciduous
Sheds all its foliage annually, so for a period of the year it will be without foliage.

Expert Tip

The foliage of Hakone Grass is very reactive to wind, producing a distinctive gentle rustling sound and attractive movement that it is famed for.
Care & Size Guidance

Care & Size Guidance

Hakonechloa macra is best grown in part shade, planted in humus rich, consistently moist, well-drained soil. Though it is not at its best, it can tolerate close to full shade.

In midsummer Hakonechloa flowers bloom with light purple inflorescence which fades to tan before dropping off over the course of several weeks.

Compared to many of the cultivars, the original green species tends to be the fastest grower and has a slightly larger ultimate size.

(Images from garden designed by Olivia Rossi, Cali Rand and landscaped by Belderbos Landscapes)

4 customer reviews for Hakonechloa macra

Japanese Forest grass arrived a few days after ordering, good root structure when unpotted although the above ground view is sparse as it is still early Spring and growth is slow. However I am confident it will now grow on well and look impressive in a few weeks or so.

Roger Byron (verified owner)

Love the Japanese forest grass, has really grown amazing in some large pots that get a lot of sun in the afternoon, and not so much water. Even after moving them they have bounce and look luscious again!

Mikayla Pryce

A bit disappointing really as there was barely no root growth beyond the centre of the plant suggesting they had very recently been potted up into the 2 litre pot.

The price was competitive but they were obviously much smaller plants so should really have been advertised as such

Thank you for your feedback, Richard. We’re sorry the plants my colleagues chose for you were not up to our usual standard. The H.macra is fairly slow to establish and spread and we’ve had similar issues in the past with other batches of it, as not all the plants manage to fill the pot quickly. They do establish eventually and will form nice arching mounds of grass.

Richard D (verified owner)

Rip Off!

I paid for 2litre pot plants but when I take them out to plant they are obviously 9cm plants put in a 2 litre pot and packed around.

I will never buy from this place again.

Hi David,

we’re sorry the plants you have received were not up to standard. Sometimes it can happen that part of the stock does not develop as fast as we would have expected. I see my colleagues in Customer Support have dealt with your complaint and a solution was reached.

We’re sorry for the inconvenience caused and we hope we’ll be able to serve you better in the future.

David Saitch