The genus of a tall, fast growing species of perennial grasses, and referring more habitually to Miscanthus giganteus (‘elephant grass’), a hybrid of M. sacchariflorus and M. sinensis. Cultivated in Japan and various parts of Asia and Africa, it has been seriously grown as a new crop in Europe since the early 1980’s, and now throughout around the world for geo-textiles, paper making, building materials and as an energy source. As a sustainable, natural material it has potential implications for interior furnishings–for twisted paper sheer and semi-sheer textiles and for woven matting and floor rugs.
Capable of growing in infertile and even polluted ground, such crops are being introduced into poor and previously unproductive areas to revive fortunes and communities.
I only have to walk three minutes to be in a field of miscanthus which is a delight – growing against the canal, the verdant greens in the summer and the light gold over winter reflect on the water and become the horizon bridging water and sky.