Saccharum giganteum (Walter) Pers.
Sugarcane Plumegrass, Giant Plumegrass
Poaceae (Grass Family)
Synonym(s): Erianthus giganteus, Erianthus giganteus var. compactus, Erianthus laxus, Erianthus saccharoides
USDA Symbol: SAGI
Giant plume grass is a tall, coarse, erect grass growing 6-10 ft., with a large, fluffy, terminal panicle of reddish-peach seed heads.
A very showy, dramatically tall grass of moist areas, blooming in early fall in full sun.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Root Type: Fibrous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Venation: Parallel
Fruit Type: Caryopsis
Size Notes: Up to about 10 feet tall.
Flower: Flowers in 6 to 16 inch plume
Fruit: Peach to silver
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Red , Green , Brown
Bloom Time: Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov
Bloom Notes: Color ranges from rose to coppery.
DistributionUSA: AL , AR , DC , DE , FL , GA , KY , LA , MD , MO , MS , NC , NJ , NY , OK , PA , SC , TN , TX , VA
Native Distribution: NY to KY, s. to FL & e. TX; mostly absent from Appalachians
Native Habitat: Moist, open, sandy areas; bogs; swales
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium , High
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Moist , Wet
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Drought Tolerance: Low
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Moist, sandy soils. Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay
Conditions Comments: Clump will get bigger each year unless part of the roots are dug during the dormant period. Does best at the edge of ponds, streams, or water gardens.
BenefitUse Ornamental: Accent. Grows in clumps, bog, or pond area. Combine with moisture-loving, fall-blooming flowers and meadow grasses.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
PropagationPropagation Material: Root Division , Seeds
Description: Propagate by seed or root division while the plant is dormant.
Seed Collection: Collect in late fall when seeds have turned brownish.
Commercially Avail: yes
Find Seed or Plants
View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.
National Wetland Indicator Status
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department - Austin, TX
Wildflower Center Seed BankLBJWC-1131 Collected 2007-02-11 in Liberty County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
BibliographyBibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski
Bibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Web ReferenceWebref 57 - Atlas of Florida Plants (2020) Institute for Systematic Botany
Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter
Research LiteratureReslit 2630 - Genetic diversity of North American and Old World Saccharum assessed by RAPD analysis (1997) D. M. Burner, Y. B. Pan, R. D. Webster
Reslit 2631 - Assessing genetic diversity in a sugarcane germplasm collection using an automated AFLP analysis (1998) P. Besse, G. Taylor, B. Carroll, N. Berding, D. Bu...
Reslit 2632 - An assessment of the phylogenetic relationship among sugarcane and related taxa based on the nucleotide sequence of 5S rRNA intergenic spacers (2000) Y. B. Pan, D. M. Burner, B. L. Legendre
Reslit 2633 - Sugarcane microsatellites for the assessment of genetic diversity in sugarcane germplasm (2003) G. M. Cordeiro, Y. B. Pan, R. J. Henry
Reslit 2634 - Cytological studies on North American species of Saccharum (Poaceae: Andropogoneae) (1994) D. M. Burner, R. D. Webster
Reslit 2635 - Taxonomy of the native North American species of Saccharum (Poaceae: Andropogoneae) (1995) R. D. Webster, R. B. Shaw
This information was provided by the Florida WIldflower Foundation.
Search More Titles in Research Literature
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Saccharum giganteum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Saccharum giganteum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Saccharum giganteum
MetadataRecord Modified: 2022-10-21
Research By: TWC Staff