Susuki (Northern Kanto Plain), December 2000 (Photo: Brian Chandler)
■ Miscanthus sinensis
This graceful tall grass grows wild across Japan, and also Korea and Eastern China. In poetry, すすき is a season word for autumn, doubtless because as the ears ripen in around October, they open out into these spectacularly delicate fronds.
Commonly known in English as Miscanthus, Japanese (or Chinese) silver grass, or Eulalia, it has been grown in the West as a garden plant for centuries. This may be why the Japanese name susuki is not generally used; and a web search for "susuki" turns up a large number of sites about motorcycles.
For photographs and more description, particularly a refutation of the folklore that this native plant is being evicted by an invader from America, see the author's Plant-Watcher's Page: "Susuki vs. Goldenrod".
For a horticultural page in the USA, including descriptions of the many cultivars, see Floridata.com.
This entry was created by Brian Chandler.