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 Weather Station

Products > Thysanolaena latifolia
Thysanolaena latifolia - Tiger Grass

[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Grass
Family: Poaceae (Gramineae) (Grasses)
Origin: Asia, Southeastern (Asia)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Golden
Bloomtime: Summer
Synonyms: [Thysanolaena maxima]
Height: 6-10 feet
Width: 6-12 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Seaside: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30 F
Thysanolaena latifolia (Tiger Grass) A tall warm-season clump forming grass with broad, bamboo-like lanceolate rich green leaves that clothe upright 1/4 inch thick solid culms that grow to 10 feet tall and spread by short rhizomes and lay over to be just as wide. The green flowers bloom in late summer and then mature to a brown color. Plant in full sun (on coast) or light shade (inland) and give occasional to regular watering. This tropical grass remains evergreen in near frost free gardens but is cut to the ground when temperatures dip for long below 27F. It is reported that this plant is root hardy to 15F, but we have been unable to verify this. This attractive plant gives a tropical feel to the garden. Tiger grass grows naturally along steep hills, sandy banks of rivers and damp slopes throughout southern Asia from China west to India and south to New Guinea at elevations below 6,500 feet. It is a monotypic genus (only one species) that was formerly known as Thysanolaena maxima and it was under this name that we grew this plant from 1995 until 2011. At one time another reed grass that we grow, Neyraudia reynaudiana was placed in the genus as Thysanolaena mezii. The name for the genus comes from the Greek words 'thysanos' meaning "fringe" and 'chlaina' meaning "cloak" in reference to the fringed upper lemma of the flowers. The specific epithet is from the Latin words 'latus' meaning broad and 'folius' meaning leaf in reference to the broad leaves. It is also commonly called Broom grass, Nepalese Broom Grass and Broom Stick as the flower stalks are harvested annually to make brooms in its native habitat and throughout the tropics. In these areas farmers also used the flower stalks as stakes and the green plant for livestock forage and planted to this durable strong rooted plant to promote soil conservation on slopes. Tiger grass performs well in gardens here in Santa Barbara, including in our own and can be seen at the Santa Barbara Zoological Gardens and Lotusland. It is also planted extensively at Disneyland in the areas around the Jungle Cruise ride.  The information on this webpage is based on research conducted about this plant in our nursery library, from online sources, as well as from observations made of it as it grows in the nursery in containers, in the nursery's garden and in other gardens where we have observed it growing. We will also incorporate comments received from others and welcome getting feedback from those who may have additional information, particularly if this information includes cultural information that would aid others in growing  Thysanolaena latifolia.