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ornamental grass

Golden Wood Millet

Milium effusum 'Aureum'

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Golden Wood Millet (Milium effusum 'Aureum') at Pender Pines Garden Center

Golden Wood Millet

Golden Wood Millet

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Golden Wood Millet (Milium effusum 'Aureum') at Pender Pines Garden Center

Golden Wood Millet foliage

Golden Wood Millet foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  3 feet

Spread:  24 inches

Sunlight:  partial shade  full shade 

Hardiness Zone:  4b

Other Names:  Golden Millet Grass, Bowles' Golden Grass


A brilliant plant for a shady area, this semi-evergreen grass gets going in early spring and forms a rich yellow mound, which matures to a bright greenish yellow; golden flowers form a haze in summer; great for a shady border or in a woodland planting

Ornamental Features

Golden Wood Millet is primarily valued in the garden for its cascading habit of growth. It features airy plumes of gold flowers rising above the foliage in mid summer. Its attractive grassy leaves emerge yellow in spring, turning chartreuse in color. As an added bonus, the foliage turns a gorgeous gold in the fall.

Landscape Attributes

Golden Wood Millet is a dense herbaceous perennial grass with a shapely form and gracefully arching stems. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other garden plants with less refined foliage.

This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and is best cleaned up in early spring before it resumes active growth for the season. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Golden Wood Millet is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use
  • Groundcover
  • Naturalizing And Woodland Gardens
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Golden Wood Millet will grow to be about 3 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 24 inches. Its foliage tends to remain dense right to the ground, not requiring facer plants in front. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years. As an herbaceous perennial, this plant will usually die back to the crown each winter, and will regrow from the base each spring. Be careful not to disturb the crown in late winter when it may not be readily seen!

This plant does best in partial shade to shade. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in rich soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This is a selection of a native North American species. It can be propagated by division; however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.

Golden Wood Millet is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. Because of its height, it is often used as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. It is even sizeable enough that it can be grown alone in a suitable container. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Massing  Garden  Groundcover  Naturalizing  Container 
Flowers  Foliage Color  Fall Color  Texture  Plant Form 
Ornamental Features