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Pennisetum alopecuroides ‘Desert Plains’ (Fountain Grass)

Fountain Grass 'Desert Plains', Foxtail Grass 'Desert Plains', Chinese Fountain Grass 'Desert Plains'

Pennisetum Alopecuroides 'Desert Plains', Fountain Grass 'Desert Plains', Foxtail Grass 'Desert Plains', Chinese Fountain Grass 'Desert Plains', Fountain Grass design ideas, Foxtail Grass design ideas
Pennisetum Alopecuroides 'Desert Plains', Fountain Grass 'Desert Plains', Foxtail Grass 'Desert Plains', Chinese Fountain Grass 'Desert Plains', Fountain Grass design ideas, Foxtail Grass design ideas

Pennisetum alopecuroides ‘Desert Plains’ (Fountain Grass) is a large perennial grass forming a dense upright vase-shaped clump of gracefully arching linear leaves. Bright green in summer, they turn red as the season progresses, before changing to warm shades of orange and gold in the fall. The showy foliage usually remains attractive until frost. In mid to late summer, large smoky purple bottlebrush flowers, 5 in. long (12 cm), resembling large foxtails are produced above the leaves. Arching outward from the foliage clump, they age to tan and are particularly dramatic when backlit. They make excellent cut flowers for fresh and dried arrangements. Requiring very little care and providing almost nonstop drama in the garden, this compact warm season grass is excellent for groundcover massing but also can be used as an accent plant in gardens and in containers.

  • Grows up to 3-4 ft. tall and wide (90-120 cm).
  • Performs best in full sun. Tolerates part shade, but best flower production occurs in full sun. Although it prefers fairly dry soils and is drought tolerant once established, it also grows in moist, but well-drained soils.
  • Welcomed in any garden style, it is versatile and can be used as a specimen plant, in groups or en masse. It is ideal in beds and borders where it provides texture, color and contrast, great in naturalistic prairies and meadows and absolutely lovely beside ponds or streams where its graceful form is reflected in the water.
  • No serious pest or disease issues. Deer resistant!
  • Cut back old foliage to the ground in late winter.
  • Propagate by division in spring.
  • Pennisetum alopecuroides species is native to Asia and Australia. It self-seeds in optimum growing and cultivars are reported not to come true from seed.
  • Find where this species is invasive in the United States.
  • Discover beautiful U.S. native plant alternatives.

Requirements

Hardiness 5 - 9
Heat Zones 6 - 9
Climate Zones 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Ornamental Grasses
Plant Family Poaceae
Genus Pennisetum
Common names Foxtail Grass, Fountain Grass
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Height 3' - 4'
(90cm - 120cm)
Spread 3' - 4'
(90cm - 120cm)
Spacing 48" (120cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Dried Arrangements, Cut Flowers, Showy
Tolerance Drought, Deer, Wet Soil
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Patio And Containers, Ponds And Streams
Garden Styles Modern Garden, Informal and Cottage
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Pennisetum glaucum ‘Purple Majesty’ (Ornamental Millet)
Pennisetum alopecuroides ‘Hameln’ (Fountain Grass)
Pennisetum alopecuroides ‘Red Head’ (Fountain Grass)
Pennisetum alopecuroides ‘Burgundy Bunny’ (Fountain Grass)
Pennisetum alopecuroides ‘Little Bunny’ (Fountain Grass)
Pennisetum setaceum ‘Fireworks’ (Purple Fountain Grass)

Recommended Companion Plants

Verbena bonariensis (Tall Verbena)
Aster x frikartii ‘Monch’ (Frikart’s Aster)
Persicaria amplexicaulis ‘Atrosanguinea’ (Mountain Fleece)
Echinacea (Coneflower)

Find In One of Our Guides or Gardens

Native Plant Alternatives to Pennisetum setaceum (Fountain Grass)
Native Plant Alternatives to Pennisetum alopecuroides (Fountain Grass)
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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Requirements

Hardiness 5 - 9
Heat Zones 6 - 9
Climate Zones 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Ornamental Grasses
Plant Family Poaceae
Genus Pennisetum
Common names Foxtail Grass, Fountain Grass
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Height 3' - 4'
(90cm - 120cm)
Spread 3' - 4'
(90cm - 120cm)
Spacing 48" (120cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Dried Arrangements, Cut Flowers, Showy
Tolerance Drought, Deer, Wet Soil
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Patio And Containers, Ponds And Streams
Garden Styles Modern Garden, Informal and Cottage
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Explore Great Plant Combination Ideas
Pennisetum (Fountain Grass)
Not sure which Pennisetum (Fountain Grass) to pick?
Compare Now

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