I'm stumped. I have a mystery on my hands. I had a clump of Zebra Grass (I'm assuming Miscanthus sinensis 'Zebrinus'.) given to me by my former mail carrier, Ms. Pearl. I still have the grass clump, but it doesn't look like Zebra grass any more.
Ms. Pearl divided it in late summer, which I've read is a no-no. I planted it in an area with some shade, because it was hot. It looked puny the rest of the summer, but it didn't die. The next spring, it grew robustly and got to 5 feet tall. It had beautiful zebra stripes, just as it should. I kept it in the same spot, because I wasn't sure exactly where to place it. Once I moved it, I wanted it to be in its final home. The spot it's in gets midday sun with morning and late afternoon dappled shade.
Last spring, it appeared with its typical zebra stripes, and the clump got a bit taller, maybe 6 feet. It looked really healthy and robust and was beautiful all summer. It bloomed in late summer with the typical plumes. I thought it was well established, and I left it alone because I still wasn't sure where its final home would be.
This spring, I cut it back, as I had the previous two springs. When it emerged, it grew just as robustly as it had in the past two years. It's now well over 5 feet tall, with beautifully arching blades. But something is amiss. The blades have not a single zebra stripe. Not one. What they do have, is a single long, narrow silver stripe down the middle of each blade. That doesn't sound like Zebra grass does it? This grass has had the zebra stripes from early spring the past two years. This year, the stripes are gone.
December 24 was Ms. Pearl's last day as our mail carrier, and she retired and moved away. I find it ironic that the grass was true to character while she was still a part of our lives, and it's now different since she's gone. I'm a scientist and of course I know that fact has nothing to do with what's going on with my grass. Still, I find it an interesting coincidence.
What do you think? Do any of you know of Zebra grass reverting?