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PENNISETUM villosum

Image of Pennisetum villosum

James H. Schutte

Family

Poaceae

Botanical Name

PENNISETUM villosum

Plant Common Name

Villous Fountaingrass

General Description

Villous fountaingrass is a tender perennial ornamental grass usually grown as an annual. In summer to early autumn, feathery cream flower heads emerge from clumps of bright green, arching foliage. This deciduous grass is native to the mountains of tropical Africa, where it bakes in full sun.

Grow this medium-sized grass in moderately fertile, moist, well-drained soil in full sun. Where it overwinters, cut back the dead top growth in early spring. Villous fountaingrass often self-sows prolifically and can be invasive where it is hardy. Plant it where you can enjoy its graceful form and movement. Try it as an accent, in a mixed border or container, or in a large rock garden.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    9 - 15

  • Plant Type

    Grass

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    2'-3' / 0.6m - 0.9m

  • Width

    2'-3' / 0.6m - 0.9m

  • Bloom Time

    Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall

  • Native To

    Eastern Africa, Northern Africa

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Arching/Fountain-shaped

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Ivory

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Yellow Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Bedding Plant, Container, Cutflower, Dried Flower/Everlasting, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Attracts

    Birds

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes