From The Plant Encyclopedia
Fountain Grass, Purple Fountain Grass, Fountaingrass
|Pennisetum setaceum - Purple Fountain Grass|
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- Cultivation: Invastive, Naturalizing, Low-Maintenance, Easy-To-Grow
- Light: Sun
- Soil: Mid-Fertility, Poor
- pH: 7
- Moisture: Medium
- Form: Herbaceous
- Habit: Perennial
- Flower: Large
- Fruit/Seed: Small
- Foliage: Leaves, Needles
- Uses: Ornamental
Pennisetum setaceum, commonly known as Fountain Grass, can develop into an imposing mound of gracefully arching foliage and flowers. Exhibiting fine textured foliage with soft to-the-touch inflorescences. The bottlebrush-like seedheads are enjoyed long after many other garden plants have faded, persisting well into the winter months.
Native to: meadows and open woods, alongside streams of Eastern Asia and Australia
Recommended spacing between plants: 60-90 cm (24-36")
When to divide: when it shows signs of life in the spring, continuing until the new growth is about 12" tall; only in the spring (further info on dividing grasses)
When to plant or transplant: plant bare root plants only in late spring to early summer, when the soil is warm, about the same time you plant your bean or corn seeds. The roots will grow only in warm soil. Planting too early in the spring may cause the roots to rot. Similar story in the fall when the roots may not grow enough to establish before the cold and wet of winter, resulting in the demise of the plant.
When to cut back: before the new growth starts to appear, but after the cold weather is over. Cut back to about 3-4" from the crown of the plant.
Pronunciation: Pennisetum (pen-ih-SEE-tum) alopecuroides (al-oh-pek-yur-OY-deez)
Fountain Grass has been introduced to Tenerife, Sicily, Sardinia, southern Spain, Australia, South Africa, Hawaii, the Western United States, California, and southern Florida. It thrives in warmer, drier areas and threatens many native species, with which it competes very effectively as an Invasive species. It also tends to increase the risk of intense Wildfires, thus posing a further threat to certain native species.
Various species and cultivars are grown as Ornamental grasses for horticulture and landscape use, such as Red Fountain Grass (Pennisetum setaceum var. rubrum), as perennial Bunch grasses.
Purple Fountain Grass (Pennisetum setaceum) in Hyderabad, AP W IMG 7797.jpg
in Hyderabad, India.
Purple Fountain Grass (Pennisetum setaceum) in Hyderabad, AP W IMG 7795.jpg
in Hyderabad, India.
Detail of ripening seeds.