Gardening Magazine

Plant of the Week: Pennisetum Villosum

By Davis Landscape Architecture @DavisLandArch

Pennisetum villosum Flower (28/07/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Pennisetum villosum Flower (28/07/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun

Flowering period: Summer to early autumn

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 60cm

Eventual Spread: 60cm

Hardiness: 9a – 10b

Family: Poaceae

Pennisetum villosum is a clump forming, deciduous, perennial grass. Its light green leaves are linear, up to 60cm long and 6mm broad. Its white/ green flowers appear in panicles above the leaves and are up to 5cm long. This plant readily goes to seed. Its roots are rhizomes.

Pennisetum villosum, commonly known as Feathertop Grass, is native to North East Africa and parts of the Arabian Peninsula.

The etymology root of the binomial name Pennisetum is derived from the Latin penna ’feather’ and seta ‘bristle’ in reference to the seed heads. Villosum

Pennisetum villosum (28/07/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Pennisetum villosum (28/07/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

The landscape architect may find  Pennisetum villosum useful as part of a prairie type planting scheme. It also looks fantastic when planted en mass. In colder climates this plant can be treated as an annual and may self seed.

Ecologically, P. villosum the seeds of this plant is attractive to birds.

The Royal Horticultural Society has given P. villosum their prestigious Award of Garden Merit in 2002.

P. villosum prefers moist, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil.

Pennisetum villosum requires little maintenance. To keep a tidy appearance last years leaves may be pruned to ground level in spring.

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog