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Pennisetum - (L.)Spreng.

Common Name Chinese Fountain Grass, Fountain Grass, Swamp Foxtail Grass, Chinese Fountain Grass
Family Poaceae or Gramineae
USDA hardiness 5-9
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Grassy places and waste ground in lowland all over Japan[58].
Range E. Asia - Japan.
Edibility Rating    (1 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Pennisetum Chinese Fountain Grass, Fountain Grass, Swamp Foxtail Grass, Chinese Fountain Grass


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Pennisetum Chinese Fountain Grass, Fountain Grass, Swamp Foxtail Grass, Chinese Fountain Grass
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Summary

Bloom Color: Brown, Red. Main Bloom Time: Early summer, Late summer, Mid summer. Form: Rounded.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Pennisetum is a deciduous Perennial growing to 1.5 m (5ft) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in) at a fast rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 7. It is in flower from August to September. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Wind.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Habitats

Edible Uses

Seed - cooked. It can be ground into a powder and used as a flour[105]. An emergency food, used when all else fails[177].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.


None known

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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An important new book from PFAF. It focuses on the attributes of plants suitable for food forests, what each can contribute to a food forest ecosystem, including carbon sequestration, and the kinds of foods they yield. The book suggests that community and small-scale food forests can provide a real alternative to intensive industrialised agriculture, and help to combat the many inter-related environmental crises that threaten the very future of life on Earth.

Read More

FOOD FOREST PLANTS

Other Uses

Plants form impenetrably dense clumps and when planted close together in drifts make an excellent ground cover[200]. They are best spaced about 45cm apart each way[208].

Special Uses

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Foundation, Ground cover, Massing, Rock garden, Seashore, Specimen. Requires a light well-drained soil in a sunny position[162]. Succeeds in dry soils and, once established, tolerates drought[190]. This species is only hardy in the mild areas of Britain[162]. Plants are growing well at Cambridge botanical gardens, which is certainly not one of the milder areas of the country[K]. There are many named varieties selected for their ornamental value[200]. Plants do not flower freely in Britain except in warm sunny autumns[208]. Older clumps are more shy of flowering than young clumps[208]. Special Features:Attracts birds, Attractive foliage, Not North American native, Invasive, Naturalizing, Suitable for cut flowers, Attractive flowers or blooms.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Propagation

Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse and only just cover the seed. Germination usually takes place within 3 weeks. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in spring. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Pennisetum alopecuroidesChinese Fountain Grass, Fountain Grass, Swamp Foxtail Grass, Chinese Fountain GrassPerennial1.5 5-9 FLMNDM10 
Pennisetum cereale Perennial0.0 -  LMNDM10 
Pennisetum glaucumPearl MilletAnnual3.0 -  LMNDM21 
Pennisetum purpureumNapier grass. Elephant grassPerennial4.0 8-11 FLMHSNM224
Pennisetum setaceumFountain grassPerennial1.5 8-11 FLMHSNDM302

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

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Expert comment

Author

(L.)Spreng.

Botanical References

58200266

Links / References

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