Like so many grasses, fountaingrass is spectacular when backlit by the rising or setting sun. Named for its especially graceful spray of foliage, fountaingrass also sends out beautiful, fuzzy flower plumes in late summer. The white, pink, or red plumes (depending on variety) continue into fall and bring a loose, informal look to plantings. This plant self-seeds freely, sometimes to the point of becoming invasive.
Garden Plans for Fountaingrass
More Varieties for Fountaingrass
Pennisetum alopecuroides makes neat but dense 2- to 5-foot clumps of 1/2-inch-wide leaves that turn golden in fall and persist into the winter. The bottlebrush panicles of silvery-white spikelets (flowers) arise in late summer and mature to bronze, according to variety. Zones 6-9
'Prince' purple fountaingrass
Pennisetum setaceum 'Prince' shows off delightful purple foliage that deepens in color as temperatures rise. It can grow 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide. It's often grown as an annual in the North. Zones 8-11
'Rubrum' purple fountaingrass
Pennisetum setaceum 'Rubrum' makes mounds of purplish-red leaves. Erect red stems carry arching 1-foot-long pink to reddish-purple panicles of spikelets from midsummer through fall. It's usually grown as an annual, though it is perennial in Zones 8-11.