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Pennisetum macrourum (African feather grass)

Intermediate
skill rating
2 hours care
per year
1.8m
Max height
1.2m
Max spread
2-5 years
To maturity

Plant details

Botanical name

Pennisetum macrourum

Other names

African feather grass, African feathergrass

Genus

Pennisetum Pennisetum

Species

P. macrourum - P. macrourum is a dense, clump-forming, borderline hardy, deciduous perennial with upright or arching, flat or rolled, linear, mid-green leaves and, in late summer and early autumn, cylindrical panicles of softly bristly, pale green flower spikelets turning brown to purple when mature.


Pennisetum macrourum is: Deciduous

Habit

Arching, Clump-forming, Dense

Awards

RHS AGM (Award of Garden Merit)

Flower

Pale-brown, Green, Purple in Summer; Purple, Pale-brown in Autumn

Foliage

Mid-green in Spring; Mid-green in Summer; Pale-yellow, Mid-green in Autumn

How to care

Watch out for

General care

Pruning

Cut back in early spring.

Propagation

Sow seed at 13-18C in spring.

Propagation methods

Division, Seed


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Where to grow

Pennisetum macrourum (African feather grass) will reach a height of 1.8m and a spread of 1.2m after 2-5 years.

Suggested uses

Beds and borders, City, Containers, Cottage/Informal, Gravel, Low Maintenance, Planted in groups, Prairie planting, Rock

Cultivation

Plant in light, moderately fertile, moist but well-drained soil in full sun. Protect in winter in cold areas or lift and overwinter indoors. Drought tolerant once established. Listed as a noxious weed in the United States.

Soil type

Chalky, Loamy, Sandy

Soil drainage

Moist but well-drained, Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Full Sun

Aspect

South, West

Exposure

Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Tender in frost (H3), Hardy (H4)

Companion plants

We do not currently have companion plants added for this plant.

Botanical name

Pennisetum macrourum

Other names

African feather grass, African feathergrass

Genus

Pennisetum Pennisetum

Species

P. macrourum - P. macrourum is a dense, clump-forming, borderline hardy, deciduous perennial with upright or arching, flat or rolled, linear, mid-green leaves and, in late summer and early autumn, cylindrical panicles of softly bristly, pale green flower spikelets turning brown to purple when mature.

Native to

Southern Africa

Foliage

Deciduous

Habit

Arching, Clump-forming, Dense

Awards

RHS AGM (Award of Garden Merit)


Colour

Flower

Pale-brown, Green, Purple in Summer; Purple, Pale-brown in Autumn

Foliage

Mid-green in Spring; Mid-green in Summer; Pale-yellow, Mid-green in Autumn

General care

Pruning

Cut back in early spring.

Propagation

Sow seed at 13-18C in spring.

Propagation methods

Division, Seed


Monthly care advice


Where to grow

Pennisetum macrourum (African feather grass) will reach a height of 1.8m and a spread of 1.2m after 2-5 years.

Suggested uses

Beds and borders, City, Containers, Cottage/Informal, Gravel, Low Maintenance, Planted in groups, Prairie planting, Rock

Cultivation

Plant in light, moderately fertile, moist but well-drained soil in full sun. Protect in winter in cold areas or lift and overwinter indoors. Drought tolerant once established. Listed as a noxious weed in the United States.

Soil type

Chalky, Loamy, Sandy

Soil drainage

Moist but well-drained, Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Full Sun

Aspect

South, West

Exposure

Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Tender in frost (H3), Hardy (H4)

USDA zones

Zone 10, Zone 9, Zone 8

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This plant likes... Garden match
Soil types: Chalky, Loamy, Sandy Tell us...
Soil drainage: Moist but well-drained, Well-drained Tell us...
Soil pH: Acid, Alkaline, Neutral Tell us...
Light: Full Sun Tell us...
Aspect: South, West Tell us...
Exposure: Sheltered Tell us...
Hardiness: Tender in frost (H3), Hardy (H4) Tell us...

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