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Imperata Red Baron or Japanese Blood Grass
Japanese Blood Grass is a uniquely coloured and exquisite ornamental grass that adds an unusual character to the landscape or garden. Known for its vivid red-green leaves, Imperata Red Baron will persist in moist soils where other plants will not. If you might be looking for that ‘punch’ in your yard or edges, consider this winner!
Japanese Blood Grass is known by a few other common names, including Cogon Grass or Rubra Japanese blood grass. Other synonyms include Imperata Cylindrica Red Baron and Imperata Red Baron. This ornamental grass is a member of the Poaceae Family and the Genus Imperata. Japanese Blood Grass is deciduous, rhizomatous and grows in loose clumps of long, brightly coloured flat leaves that are brightly coloured. In late summer, the panicles will exhibit a narrow, silvery, flower that contrasts beautifully against the colours of the foliage.
Hardy to Zone H3 in the UK region (about minus 5), Imperata Red Baron grows to an ultimate height of 0.1-0.5 metres and spread of 0.1-0.5 metres. It takes between 2-5 years for Japanese Blood Grass to reach full height.
This colourful ornamental grass grows well in moist areas or well drained soils rich in humus. It prefers full sun to partial shade with a south or east facing Aspect. If not subjected to deep freezes, it can do well in sheltered areas or exposed ones. In colder areas, Japanese Blood Grass may require some winter protection from extreme cold temperatures. Its soil texture preferences range from clay to chalk to loam. pH preference ranges from slightly acid through neutral to slightly alkaline.
Ideal sites for this decorative grass include borders along flower beds, urban gardens and low maintenance areas where you are seeking a splash of colour. Due to its growth habit and rhizomatous nature, Imperata Red Baron will thrive where moisture is adequate to abundant. In well drained sites, it is very important that there is plenty of humus so as to retain soil moisture.
If you place Japanese Blood Grass in the full sun, its colour develops into its brightest red, and when backlit by the sun, the translucent leaves brighten into a beautiful glow of colour. In a larger space, plant Japanese Blood Grass in groups of 3-6 so as to create its greatest visual effect.
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