Study Identifies Winter-Hardy Miscanthus

University of Illinois researchers have published their research on Miscanthus genotypes that are more cold-hardy than the ‘Illinois’ genotype most commonly grown for biomass in the United States. Miscanthus is a perennial grass that can yield tremendous amounts of biomass over the course of a decade or more, but it is challenging to establish in northern climates, due to the cold sensitivity of the vegetative starts during the first year. This research showed that the ‘Nagara’ hybrid is much more cold-resistant as a first-year plant. In another study, the researchers also identified hybrid crosses that survived cold weather well as mature plants.