Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Fountain Grass

Pennisetum
A very variable genus of easy to grow and often very attractive ornamental grasses.
Deer resistant.

* photo taken on August 2 2010 in Bayfield, Ontario

* photo taken on Aug 15 2014 at Maryland Zoo, Baltimore, MD


Pennisetum x advena 'Fireworks'
A spectacular, fast growing, ornamental grass reaching up to 4 x 3.5 feet with burgundy-red foliage that is variegated with a hot pink margin. In frost free climates it is evergreen but still looks best if cut back during very early spring to force new brightly colored foliage to flush.
The slender pale red plumes appear in early summer and late change to purple as autumn approaches.
Hardy zones 8 to 10 ( 7 on sheltered site ). It can be moved indoors during winter and doesn't need much light to survive.

* photos taken on Sep 22 2013 in Harford Co., MD

* photos taken on June 23 2013 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

* photos taken @ Smithsonian Inst, Wash., DC on Aug 25 2014


Pennisetum alopecuroides ( Fountain Grass )
Native to South America; this fast growing grass forms a medium-size clump of exceptionally fine-textured foliage reaching up to 5.5 x 7 feet while in bloom. Looks great masses and by swimming pools.
The leaf blades reach up to 36 x 0.6 inches in size.
The foliage is rich green during summer, turning tan color during late autumn and remaining attractive for most of the winter.
In fall and winter the purple tassels up to 8 x 2 inches in size are an added ornamental feature.
Hardy zones 5 to 9 and thrives in sun or partial shade on rich, well drained soil. It is not prone to insect pests or disease.

* photo taken on August 24 2010 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Sep 4 2011 in Harford Co, MD


* photo taken on Oct 30 2011 in Harford Co, MD

* photo taken on June 7 2012 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on July 30 2012 in Ellicott City, MD

* photos taken on Aug 20 2012 in Harford Co., MD

* photo taken on Aug 15 2013 in Ellicott City, MD

* photos taken on Sep 22 2013 in Harford Co., MD

* photo taken on Aug 15 2014 at Maryland Zoo, Baltimore, MD

* photos taken on Aug 17 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Aug 25 2017 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Sep 8 2017 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Oct 9 2017 in Columbia, MD


'Burgundy Bunny'
Reaches up to 20 x 38 ( typically 12 x 15 ) inches. A heavy bloomer with white plumes that contrasts with deep green foliage that begins to turn red in summer then turns deep red in autumn. Generally easy to grow but needs good drainage. It is one of the more hardy cultivars.

'Cassian'
Compact in habit, reaching a maximum size of 4 x 4 feet. It is among the best Pennisetums for mass plantings.
It has white flower tassels that are somewhat in between the species & 'Hameln'. The flower tassels transition to beige as autumn progresses. The deep green foliage, up to 2 feet high, turns striking burgundy-red during autumn. A Kurt Bluemel introduction.

* photos taken on Sep 23 2013 in Burtonsville, MD


'Desert Plains'
Reaching up to 4.2 x 6 feet in size, with foliage that is green with purple tips.
The foliage turns to orange and bronze during autumn. With its colorful foliage, it is among the most beautiful of all the Fountain Grasses.
The purplish plumes are borne late summer into autumn.
Hardy zones 5 to 9.

'Fox Trot'
Reaches up to 6.2 x 5.3 feet with large, silvery-pink, bottlebrush-like flower tassels, up to 5 inches in length, borne late summer to mid autumn. The flowers eventually deepen to light brown during autumn while the foliage turns to glowing orange and red.
Hardy zones 5 to 9 ( 4 on protected sites ).

* photos taken on Sep 3 2012 in Ellicott City, MD


'Hameln'
Fast growing and similar to the species but shorter ( rarely to 4 x 5 feet ) with narrower leaf blades on dark green foliage.
The pinkish-white flower tassels are borne as early as mid summer.
Hardy zone 5 to 9 ( 4 on protected sites ).


* photo taken on August 2 2010 in Bayfield, Ontario





* photo taken on August 6 2010 in Windsor, Ontario

* photo taken on Oct 30 2011 in Harford Co, MD

* photo taken on Nov 9 2011 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on July 30 2012 in Ellicott City, MD

* photo taken on Aug 20 2012 in Harford Co., MD

* photos taken on Aug 30 2012 in Odenton, MD

* photo taken on Sep 22 2013 in Harford Co., MD

* photos taken on Oct 24 2014 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Sep 13 2015 in Columbia, MD


'Little Bunny' ( Miniature Fountain Grass )
Fast growing but dwarf, reaching a maximum size of 20 x 38 ( typically 12 x 15 ) inches. A heavy bloomer with white plumes that contrasts with deep green foliage. Generally easy to grow but needs good drainage. It is one of the more hardy cultivars.
Excellent for rock garden and edging.

* photo taken on August 3 2010 @ University of Guelph Arboretum, Ontario

* photos taken on Nov 1 2011 in Montgomery Co, MD


* photo taken on Dec 2011 in Wilkes-Barre, PA

* photo taken on Sep 20 2013 in Columbia, MD


'Little Honey'
Similar to Little Bunny but strongly silver variegated. To 1.5 feet tall and wide. Doesn't normally revert back to solid green. Great plant.

'Moudry' ( Black Pennisetum )
Growing in clumps to 4 x 6.5 feet this is a large late blooming Fountain Grass with deep purplish plumes up to 9 x 3 inches. The foliage is dark glossy green and wide ( up to 0.5 inches in width ). Should be cut back before the seeds dry since they can become invasive.










* photos taken on Sep 27 2017 in Columbia, MD


'National Arboretum'
Nearly identical to 'Moudry'

* photo taken on Nov 19 2016 @ London Town Gardens, Edgewater, MD


'Red Head'
Similar in habit to 'Moudrey' but with huge, very dense, smoky-purple plumes, up to 10 x 3 inches, that do not produce seed.
This very vigorous grass blooms early for a Pennisetum and continues over a very long season. It reaches up to 5 x 6.7 feet, with luxuriant deep green foliage, up to 3 feet high, that turns to golden-yellow during autumn. This grass can reach near full size in as little as 2 years.
Looks great planted with Black Eyed Susan.
Hardy zones 5 to 9

* photo taken on Aug 28 2013 in Ellicott City, MD


Pennisetum 'Burgundy Giant'
A huge Pennisetum with deep red leaves up to an inch across. In zone 9 south into the tropics it is a massive very fast growing perennial to 8 x 12 feet. In the north it is an annual that can reach up to 6 feet in August in zone 6
Pennisetum 'Princess Caroline is similar but hardy north to zone 8 and is smaller in stature. It is highly recommended in the Deep South.
Prefers fertile, moist, well drained soil and a site protected from excessive wind.

Pennisetum caudatum ( White Fountain Grass )
Very vigorous growing to 5 x 4 feet with very beautiful fluffy white plumes from summer through fall. Hardy zone 5 +

Pennisetum 'Fairy Tails'
Very attractive growing to 5 feet tall and wide. It is evergreen to 20 F and can tolerate as low as 10 F. Tolerant of both drought and seashore conditions.

Pennisetum glaucum 'Purple Majesty' ( Purple Millet )
A very attractive annual grass, reaching up to 5 feet in height, with broad, deep purple foliage and stems. It is great for use as a specimen and in containers and looks best planted in groups of 3. It was developed at the University of Nebraska.
Bottlebrush plumes, up to 18 inches in length, top the foliage. Birds love the seeds and in fact the parent plant is grown agriculturally for the production of bird food.
Hardy zones 9 to 10 ( annual zones 4 to 8 ) in full sun on just about any light, well drained soil.

* photo taken on Aug 15 2014 @ Druid Hill Park, Baltimore, MD


Pennisetum 'Ocean Hybrid'
This green foliage Pennisetum grows huge! Up to 10 feet but only hardy north to zone 8

Pennisetum orientale ( Oriental Pennisetum )
Forms a fast growing clump of glossy blue-green fine foliage to 30 x 32 inches topped with very abundant, delicate silvery-pink plumes up to 4 feet in height from May to frost.
While in bloom, the entire plant may reach a maximum width of 6 feet, though is typically half that.
The leaf blades are up to 24 x 0.6 inches in size.
Hardy from zone 6 to 9 in full sun or partial shade on fertile, well drained soil. Drought tolerant and not prone to pests or disease.

* photos taken on July 21 2012 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Sep 8 2015 in Ellicott City, MD

* photos taken on Oct 10 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on July 24 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Sep 23 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on June 10 2017 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Aug 30 2017 in Columbia, MD


'Karley Rose'
Reaches up to 4.5 x 4.2 feet, with a clump of deep green foliage topped with intense deep pink plumes from late May to frost. The foliage turns to yellow during autumn.
Hardy north to zone 5 ( possibly 4 if protected )

* photos taken on Sep 2 2010 in Clarksville, MD


* photo taken on October 17 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.

* photo taken on Aug 1 2013 in Stratford, Ontario

* photos taken on June 28 2017 in Howard Co., MD


'Shogun'
Reaches up to 3 feet with large pink flower inflorescences borne early summer to mid autumn.
Hardy zones 5 to 9

* photo taken on Aug 15 2014 @ Druid Hill Park, Baltimore, MD


'Tall Tails'
From Turkey; vigorous in habit, growing huge, to 9 x 6 feet! The long, creamy-white flower plumes, up to 12 inches in length, are borne early summer to autumn frosts. The 1 inch wide foliage also grows unusually tall, reaching up to 6 feet.

* photo taken on October 17 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.


* photo taken on Sep 23 2013 in Burtonsville, MD


Pennisetum purpureum 'Vertigo'
A very fast growing, large, clumping, perennial ( annual in cold climates ) grass, reaching up to 8 ( rarely over 5 ) x 3 feet in size.
It makes a stunning accent plants...especially when combined with white, bright pink or blue flowering plants. The broad foliage is blackish-purple.
Hardy zones 8b to 11 in full sun on just about any moist, fertile, well drained soil. It is very heat tolerant. It can also be grown as an annual from zones 5 to 8.

Pennisetum setaceum ( Tender Fountain Grass )
A fast growing, large attractive ornamental grass native to Africa and often escapes from cultivation in mild climates. It is a clump former reaching up to 5 x 4 feet with feathery pink to purple plumes about 1 foot higher than the plant.
Hardy north to zone 8; it is tolerant of drought, heat, wind and rarely bothered by pests.

* photo taken on Oct 22 2013 in Towson, MD


'Rubrum' ( Purple Leaved Fountain Grass )
Similar, reaching up to 5 x 5 ( rarely over 4 ) feet, except for having foliage that is striking deep red all summer long.
The deep red flower plumes, lasting early summer until autumn frosts, are also very attractive.
Hardy zones 8 to 10, due to it's fast growth, it is also used as a summer annual from zones 4 to 7.

* photo taken on Oct 30 2011 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Sep 24 2013 in Howard Co., MD

* photo taken on Sep 3 2016 in Columbia, MD


'Variegata'

* photos taken on Sep 19 2013 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken @ Smithsonian Inst, Wash., DC on Aug 25 2014

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