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Pennisetum - Growing Guide
These are clump forming perennial grasses with linear leaves that are grown principally for their feathery, spike-like, panicles of oblong or lance shaped ‘flowers’ or spikelets which bend with the breeze. These spikelets are excellent for cutting in the green or as dried flowers.
P. alopecuroides is a clump forming, tufted, evergreen grass. Its leaves grow up to 2ft in height and the spikelets appear in summer and autumn to give an overall height of perhaps 4ft. This species likes good, well-drained soil in full sun and the only real care it needs is to remove the old dead flowering stems at the start of the season with shears or secateurs.
P. x adventa ‘Fireworks’, purple fountain grass, has dark red-purple leaves with green and pink stripes. The flowers are a deep red in late summer. This is slightly smaller growing but, also, an evergreen perennial which will need tidying up in spring.
P. x adventa ‘Rubrum’ is a graceful, swaying, tall grass with numerous deep purple hanging flower heads.
P. x adventa ‘Skyrocket’ grows taller and has green and white striped leaves. The flower heads emerge pink at first then fade to pale pink and, finally, white.