Pennisetum orientale

fountain grass

Outstanding Qualities

Grasses add textural interest to any border and this fountain grass is particularly good for the sunny border. Pennisetum orientale is noted for its attractive pinkish-white flowers spikes which rise above the mound of foliage in late summer. The foliage turns yellowish after frost, but quickly fades to straw-beige by winter. Flower plumes persist well into winter providing good winter interest. It looks particularly good when planted with large-leaved perennials for contrast.

Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: purple, gold, burgundy

Great Color Partners: cream, dark green, variegated

Culture Notes

The lovely grass needs full sun to flower its best and it will tolerate a hot location. Planting in rich well-drained or sandy soil is preferred, avoiding wet locations. Once established it only requires occasional watering during dry weather. It can be pruned to the ground in fall or winter when the seed heads lose their attractiveness.

© Paul Odermatt

Quick Facts

Plant Type: grass

Foliage Type: deciduous

Plant Height: 3 ft. 0 in. (0.91 m.)

Plant Width/Spread: 3 ft. 0 in. (0.91 m.)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 5 to 8

Flower Color: pink

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun

Water Requirements: occasional watering