Common name: Golden variegated Japanese forest grass (a.k.a. golden variegated Hakone grass)
Botanical name: Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’
What it is: A soft, graceful ornamental grass with lime and green striped leaves and an arching habit.
Size: Grows about 18 inches tall with a 24- to 30-inch spread. Spreads slowly in a clump as opposed to invasive runners as with ribbongrass.
Where to use: Best color and performance is in shade or part shade – different from most grasses’ full-sun needs. Makes an excellent edging along a shady or woodland path. Also nice around water features.
Why I like it: Provides bright color in a shaded area. Takes little or no care except to make sure it has a regular drink of water drink in a drought. For the most part, it stays where it is planted because it is a slow grower, so it doesn’t become invasive. If there is a runner, that is the one you can dig up to give to a friend to transplant.