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Imperata cylindrica 'Rubra'

Japanese blood grass

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Key information

Plant type

Hardy perennial


Dramatic foliage



Skill level


Imperata cylindrica 'Rubra'

Plant details

Also known as 'Red Baron', this brilliant red foot-high grass is instantly recognisable. It develops its brightest blood-red colouring when grown in full sun and is best seen where the sun is behind it the translucent foliage brightens as if someone has switched the lights on. Since the soil is likely to dry out rapidly in this situation, it really is vital to ensure plants grow in very humus rich soil and remain moist enough in summer - otherwise they slowly fade away. Plant in groups of three or five to make the most effect in a large area.

Family: Poaceae

Genus: Imperata

Species: cylindrica

Cultivar: Rubra

Plant type: Hardy perennial

Foliage colour: Bronze

Feature: Dramatic foliage

Sun exposure: Full sun, Partial shade

Soil: Well-drained/light, Moist

Hardiness: Hardy

Skill level: Experienced

Height: 40cm

Spread: 30cm

Time to divide plants: April to June

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Why does my Japanese Blood Grass stay green?

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