Pennisetum orientale

27 Jul

Pennisetum orientale (18/07/2015, Kew gardens, London)

Pennisetum orientale (18/07/2015, Kew gardens, London)

Position: Full sun

Flowering period: Summer

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 60cm

Eventual Spread: 60cm

Hardiness: 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b

Family: Poaceae

Pennisetum orientale is a deciduous, clump forming, tufted perennial grass. Its dark green leaves are linear, arching and up to 60cm long and 15mm broad. Its pale mauve flowers appear in panicles at the ends of stalks and are up to 14cm long. These panicles may remain on the plant through the winter months. Its roots have rhizomes which aids its slow spread.

Pennisetum orientale Flower (18/07/2015, Kew gardens, London)

Pennisetum orientale Flower (18/07/2015, Kew gardens, London)

Pennisetum orientale, commonly known as Oriental Fountain Grass, is native to the mountains of south west Asia. In its native habitat it grows in open grassland.

The etymological root of the binomial name Pennisetum is derived from the Latin penna ’feather’ and seta ‘bristle’ in reference to the seed heads Orientale is derived from the Latin oriens meaning ‘eastern’.

The landscape architect may find Pennisetum orientale useful in prairie type planting schemes. This grass looks fantastic when planted en mass. Once established this plant is drought tolerant.

Pennisetum orientale Leaf (18/07/2015, Kew gardens, London)

Pennisetum orientale Leaf (18/07/2015, Kew gardens, London)

Ecologically,  Pennisetum orientale seeds are attractive to some birds and mammals.

The Royal Horticultural Society has given Pennisetum orientale their prestigious Award of Garden Merit in 1993.

Pennisetum orientale prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil. It will not tolerate wet soils.

Pennisetum orientale requires little maintenance. For a tidy appearance this grass may be cut to 10cm above ground level. Large clumps may be divided in early spring.

DAVIS Landscape Architecture

Landscape Architecture

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One Response to “Pennisetum orientale”

  1. Candy Blackham 27/07/2015 at 07:30 #

    Reblogged this on Enthusiastic Gardener and commented:
    A wonderful group of grasses – love it!

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