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Products > Setaria palmifolia
Setaria palmifolia - Palm Grass

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Grass
Family: Poaceae (Gramineae) (Grasses)
Origin: India (Asia)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Green
Bloomtime: Summer
Synonyms: [Panicum palmifolium]
Height: 4-6 feet
Width: 3-5 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Seaside: Yes
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25 F
Setaria palmifolia (Palm Grass) - A large coarse evergreen grass to 6 feet tall with an equal spread. It has long broad pleated leaves that superficially resemble palm leaves and long flower spikes that emerge in summer to grow above the foliage - the leaf sheaths, culm joints and floral areas have short bristle-like hairs. Plant in full coastal sun to light shade and is hardy to the low 20's F without suffering damage - this plant sailed through our December 1990 and January 2007 freezes without damage. Palm Grass grows quite large if irrigated regularly and in this situation it is best to remove flower spikes as this grass produces viable seed and is a potential weed problem in cultivated areas. In drier locations it reaches only 2 to 3 feet and does not seem to reseed into these low irrigated areas. This grass provides a very tropical look that is nice with ponds or other water features. It is native to China, southern Japan, Taiwan, the Indian Sub-continent and south-eastern Asia The name for the genus is from the Latin word 'seta' meaning "bristle" referring to the bristles on the spikelets and the specific epithet is in reference to the palm-like look of the leaves. It was first described by the Austrian botanist Otto Stapf in 1914.  The information on this page is based on research conducted in our nursery library and from online sources as well as from observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery's garden and in other gardens that we have visited. We have also incorporated comments received from others and always appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have some additional information, particularly if this information is contrary to what we have written or includes additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing  Setaria palmifolia.