Alphabetical Plant Listing

Pennisetum villosum (Feathertop Grass)

Feather Grass, Feathertop


Extremely drought tolerant, Feathertop Grass (Pennisetum villosum) is among the most beautiful and graceful ornamental grasses with its large, fluffy, bright white flower plumes cascading down the light green foliage that rustles in the wind. While a perennial grass, it is tender and often grown as an annual.

  • Recipient of the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society (2002)
  • This plant typically grows in 2 feet tall (60 cm) sprawling tussocks of narrow green foliage, topped with soft, furry, white bottlebrush-like flowers on arching stems from mid summer until fall.
  • 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 borders where it provides texture, color and contrast and can be planted in containers. Since it can grow in almost pure sand, planting it near the beach would be a possibility.
  • Prized by florists as a cut flower!
  • Performs best in full sun in average, well-drained soils.
  • Self-seeder, it will multiply if you do not cut off the flowers before the seeds ripen in the fall. Cut back old foliage to the ground in late winter.

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Requirements

Hardiness 8 – 10
Heat Zones 1 – 11
Plant Type Ornamental Grasses
Plant Family Pennisetum - Fountain Grasses
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spread 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spacing 18" – 24" (45cm – 60cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Plant of Merit, Showy
Tolerance Drought, Salt
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Coastal Garden, Informal and Cottage, Modern Garden, Prairie and Meadow

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Guides with Pennisetum - Fountain Grasses


Botanik Foto, GAP Photos/Elke Borkowski - Design: Ursula Graefen

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.


Requirements

Hardiness 8 – 10
Heat Zones 1 – 11
Plant Type Ornamental Grasses
Plant Family Pennisetum - Fountain Grasses
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spread 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Spacing 18" – 24" (45cm – 60cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Plant of Merit, Showy
Tolerance Drought, Salt
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Coastal Garden, Informal and Cottage, Modern Garden, Prairie and Meadow

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Pennisetum - Fountain Grasses

Guides with Pennisetum - Fountain Grasses

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