Increasingly in Melbourne gardens, parks and road verges are being planted with ornamental grasses, especially the native flora varieties. Pennisetum alopecuroides (Chinese pennisetum, Chinese fountaingrass, dwarf fountain grass, foxtail fountain grass, swamp foxtail grass) is a species of perennial grass native to Asia and Australia, and it is one of these grasses popularly planted.
The variety illustrated here is Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Purple Lea', and it forms an upright mound of arching green leaves, bearing bottlebrush spikes of pinkish purple flowerheads. Most effective when mass planted, but also useful as a specimen accent in the garden or in containers. Flowers are excellent for cutting, fresh or dried. Plants usually remain attractive well into the winter, the leaves turning bright golden-yellow in the Autumn. Clumps may be easily divided in spring. Old foliage should be cut to the ground in Spring. Drought tolerant once established.
It is widely planted as it is an environmentally friendly Australian native, excellent for attracting native birds. It is non-invasive to native bushland as very little viable seed is produced. It is attractive year-round and is hardy, drought tolerant, and grows well in a range of climates from Hobart to Darwin.
This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.