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Stems usually 1 to 11⁄2, sometimes 3 to 4 ft high, with a single branch at each of the upper joints, green, round, 1⁄6 in. in width, joints 3 to 41⁄2 in. apart, rather prominent. Stem-sheaths persistent, very downy at first; both they and the leaf-sheaths have at the apex a curious group of bristles (themselves minutely hairy), resembling in their tapering, twisted ends the arms of an octopus. Leaves narrow-oblong, 4 to 8 in. long, 1 to 21⁄4 in. wide, abruptly tapered at the base, and narrowed quickly also at the top to a short, slender point; at first dark green above, glaucous beneath, but afterwards turning yellow and finally pale brown at the margins; secondary veins 5 to 9 each side the midrib.
Native of Japan; introduced by Maries for Messrs Veitch about 1880. It forms dense, matted patches and spreads very rapidly. Pleasing in the summer and early autumn, the habit of decaying at the leaf-margins spoils its value. This character, which is equally apparent on plants wild in Japan, is not found, so far as I know, in any other hardy species.
This species is too invasive and shabby looking to be admitted into the garden, and does nothing to beautify woodland, where it will in time form vast thickets, difficult to eradicate.