5. Miscanthus sinensis Andersson, Öfvers. Kongl. Vetensk.-Akad. Förh. 12: 166. 1855.
Miscanthus condensatus Hackel; M. flavidus Honda; M. kanehirae Honda; M. purpurascens Andersson; M. sinensis subsp. purpurascens (Andersson) Tzvelev; M. sinensis var. condensatus (Hackel) Makino; M. sinensis var. purpurascens (Andersson) Matsumura; M. transmorrisonensis Hayata.
Plant tufted or shortly rhizomatous. Culms (30–)80–200 (–400) cm tall, 3–10 mm in diam., solid, unbranched, nodes glabrous or puberulous. Leaves basal and cauline; leaf sheaths glabrous or pilose; leaf blades linear, flat, 18–75 × 0.3–2(–4) cm, glabrous, glaucous or pilose, midrib prominent, margins scabrid or smooth, base tapering or broad and rounded, apex acuminate; ligule 0.5–4 mm, ciliolate. Panicle (10–)20–36 cm; axis 6–16 cm, subglabrous to pilose or puberulous. Racemes (4–)10–40(–100), (8–)10–30 cm; rachis internodes glabrous, scaberulous or smooth, nodes glabrous; lower pedicel 0.5–1.5 mm, upper pedicel 1.5–4 mm. Spikelets 4–6.5 mm, pilose or glabrous, awned; callus hairs 5–8 mm, exceeding the spikelet; glumes subequal, membranous, 4–6.5 mm, 5-veined, back glabrous or pilose, puberulous at apex and along upper margins, apex acuminate; lower lemma lanceolate, hyaline, 3.5–4 mm, veinless, apex and margins puberulous, otherwise glabrous; upper lemma similar to lower, 2.5–3.5 mm; awn geniculate, 4–12 mm; upper palea a 1–2 mm scale. Anthers 3, ca. 2.5 mm. Caryopsis ellipsoid, ca. 2 mm.
Mountain slopes, coasts, disturbed places; below 2000 m. Anhui, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Hebei, Hubei, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Shaanxi, Shandong, Sichuan, Taiwan, Yunnan, Zhejiang [Japan, Korea].
This is a widespread species with a broad range of variation. Although the variants may be locally distinct, there are too many intermediates to allow a more detailed taxonomy to be followed. The main variants are as follows: Miscanthus condensatus: plants robust, 200–400 cm tall; leaf blades broad, 20–40 mm wide; panicle dense, of up to 100 racemes; Japan (including Ryukyu Islands), especially on coasts; M. purpurascens: glumes conspicuously pilose; throughout the range of M. sinensis; M. transmorrisonensis: panicles of 5–10 racemes; Taiwan.
The name "Miscanthus jinxianensis L. Liu" (Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 10(2): 7. 1997) was not validly published because no Latin description was provided. It probably refers to a slightly large form of M. sinensis. The specimen on which it is based has not been seen.