Common Name: fountain grass
Type: Ornamental grass
Zone: 5 to 9
Height: 1.50 to 2.50 feet
Spread: 1.50 to 2.50 feet
Bloom Time: August to October
Bloom Description: Pinkish white
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium to wet
Suggested Use: Ground Cover, Rain Garden
Flower: Showy, Good Cut, Good Dried
Leaf: Colorful, Good Fall
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Drought, Erosion, Wet Soil, Black Walnut, Air Pollution
Easily grown in average, medium to wet soils in full sun to part shade. Best in full sun. Tolerates part shade, but may not flower in too much shade. Cut foliage to the ground in late winter before new shoots appear. May be grown from seed and self-seeds in optimum growing conditions but cultivars do not come true from seed. May not be reliably winter hardy throughout USDA Zone 5 where it is best sited in a protected location.
Although Pennisetum often reseeds, it should be noted that this cultivar will not come true from seed.
Pennisetum alopecuroides, commonly called fountain grass, is a warm season ornamental grass which typically grows in graceful, spreading clumps from 2-3' tall and as wide. Features narrow, medium to deep green leaves (to 1/2" wide) in summer, changing to golden yellow in fall and fading to beige in late fall. Foliage usually remains attractive throughout the winter. Showy, silvery to pinkish-white, bristly, bottle brush-like flower spikes arch outward from the clump in late summer like water spraying from a fountain (hence the common name). Flower spikes turn brownish as the seeds form, and spikes usually persist until late fall or early winter before shattering. Many excellent fountain grass cultivars are available in commerce, ranging in height from 1-5' and featuring a variety of different flower colors (purples, pinks or whites) and autumn foliage.
Genus name comes from the Latin penna meaning feather and seta meaning bristle in reference to the flowers having long, feathery bristles.
Specific epithet means like a foxtail grass.
'Hameln' is similar to the species, except the flower spikes of this cultivar are shorter and the plants are more compact.
No serious insect or disease problems.
Specimen, group or mass. Foliage and attractive flower spikes of this ornamental grass provide excellent texture, color and contrast to borders, foundations and open areas. Also grows well in moist locations such as peripheries of water gardens, ponds or streams.