Porcupine Grass vs Zebra Grass

If you fancy gardening and landscaping, then most probably you have some ornamental grass that you have grown on your yard. Or, you are just about to start growing some. Either way, you may want to know the differences between porcupine grass and zebra grass.

Quite interestingly, porcupine grass and zebra grass are actually cultivars of the same species, which is Miscanthus sinensis alias Chinese silver grass – hence the similarities. However, there are some distinctions that set them apart. Below, we will take a look at each of the two popular kinds of ornamental grass.

Porcupine Grass

Miscanthus sinensis strictus alias porcupine grass features horizontal stripes on the leaves and spines. The color of the stripes may range from deep yellow to whitish yellow. Porcupine grass’s leaves are usually slim and narrow and grow straight upright. As the effect, the grass can be relatively tall, but doesn’t spread around so much. It tends to grow in a clump.

Zebra Grass

On the other hand, zebra grass, which has a species name of Miscanthus sinensis zebrinus, features horizontal stripes on the leaves and coat instead. The color of the stripes is identical to porcupine grass’s. Zebra grass also grows in a clump. However, the leaves are broader and tend to arch down towards the grown. As the effect, zebra grass usually doesn’t grow as tall but spreads more.


Both porcupine grass and zebra grass can be great for accent plants, hedges, and borders. Porcupine grass features stiffer leaves that grow upward, whilst zebra grass has more flexible leaves that arch towards the ground.

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