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Products > Pennisetum orientale
Pennisetum orientale - Chinese Fountain Grass
Image of Pennisetum orientale
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Grass
Family: Poaceae (Gramineae) (Grasses)
Origin: Asia, Central (Asia)
Flower Color: Pink
Bloomtime: Spring/Fall
Synonyms: [Cenchrus orientalis]
Height: 1-2 feet
Width: 1-2 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Seaside: Yes
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: < 0 F
Pennisetum orientale (Chinese Fountain Grass) - A compact fine-textured winter-dormant grass to 18 inches tall with light green foliage and soft feathery pale pink flower spikes rising above the foliage from late spring through fall. It is a slow spreading rhizomatous grass which forms dense clumps. Plant in full sun in a well-drained soil. Looks best with occasional watering but tolerates drier conditions as well. Hardy to at least -10 F and useful to USDA Zone 6 (have been told even down to Zone 5a in SE Wisconsin). Cut back in fall - winter. Useful as a standalone specimen or in mass plantings - great for edging a path and particularly nice when back lit. Though the type locality of this plant remains unknown it is thought to be native to central and southwest Asia to north-western India. Though not yet listed as such in all nomenclatural databases, recent treatment of the genus Pennisetum has all species included in the genus Cenchrus with Pennisetum orientale now called Cenchrus orientalis. Until such time as these new names become recognized in the horticultural trades, we have decided to continue to list this plant as Pennisetum orientale so as not to confuse our customers or our own staff. 

This information about Pennisetum orientale displayed is based on research conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share any cultural information that would aid others in growing it.