Any of various tall tropical grasses native to eastern Asia and southern Africa that constitute the genus Miscanthus, some of which are cultivated, especially as ornamentals or for fibre. Also (in form Miscanthus): the genus itself.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in American Naturalist. From scientific Latin Miscanthus, genus name (Nils Johan Andersson 1855, in Öfversigt af Kongl. Vettenskaps-Akademiens Förhandlingar (Stockholm)) 12 165) from Hellenistic Greek μίσχος stalk of leaves or fruit (of unknown origin) + ancient Greek ἄνθος flower, so called on account of the plant's stalked spikelets.