Fountain grass (Pennisetum plants)
Fountain grass, also known by its Latin name Pennisetum plants, also goes by the names of feather top, foxtail, pearl millet and elephant grass. It is a group of wispy evergreen grasses with a graceful, slightly tropical appearance and clump forming habit. As the name suggests, the foliage forms fountain-like sprays which make a beautiful backdrop to a seating of patio area, especially when under-lit with spot lights in the patio or decking or backlit with the rising or setting sun. Fountain grass produces attractive, fuzzy, bottle-brush like flower spikes held high above the foliage on long, arching stems between August and September. It is a perennial grass with a charming, semi-dwarfing habit, reaching no more than 1.5 metres tall. Pennisetum makes a great addition to borders and containers, enjoying a well-drained soil in sun or shade. Beginner gardeners may find our guide to ornamental grasses useful.