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Imperata cylindrica ‘Red Baron’, also known as Japanese Blood Grass, is a striking ornamental grass that is grown for its foliage rather than its flowers. It is a clump-forming grass with erect leaves that are green at the base and gradually turn to a deep red or burgundy color at the tips, resembling a blood-stained sword.
The plant prefers full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil that is not too dry. It is tolerant of a range of soil types, including sandy, loamy, and clay soils, but does not like to be waterlogged. It is also quite drought-tolerant once established.
Imperata ‘Red Baron’ is a low-maintenance plant that does not require regular pruning, but can benefit from a trim in early spring to remove any dead or damaged leaves. It is a deciduous grass, and the foliage may turn brown in winter, but will bounce back in spring.
While ‘Red Baron’ does not produce flowers that are particularly noteworthy, it is grown primarily for its striking foliage. It typically grows to about 50cm in height, with a spread of 30cm. It is a great choice for adding color and texture to a mixed border, or for use as a specimen plant. Its fiery red foliage looks particularly stunning when planted en masse or when used to create a bold contrast with other plants.
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