Help with ID a green-purple grass with fuzzy seeds

vivian_2010August 26, 2013

All,

I have been looking for a purple (or green-purple grass) with fuzze seeds for a while. My husband took a picture of this grass he saw at a parkway close to his work. It is about ~ 3-4 ft tall. Can you please help identify this beautiful grass? This is exactly what I want. I like to make sure I purchase the correct cultivar.

Thank you for your help!

Vivian

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donn_(7b-8a)

Probably Pennisetum setaceum 'Rubrum' ...an annual in your zone.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2013 at 12:20PM
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vivian_2010

Donn, Thank you for the information. I was hoping you would say that it is a perennial.......

I am also researching some switch grasses. some of them (such as switchgrass cheyenne sky) are hardy for zone 5 and has the purple foliage in the fall. Maybe I can settle for that?

Thanks so much for the information.
Vivian

    Bookmark   August 27, 2013 at 9:26PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

It is a perennial but, as was said, it's tender -- i.e., won't survive outdoors in your climate. Mine either. :(

    Bookmark   August 27, 2013 at 11:57PM
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donn_(7b-8a)

There are at least a few Panicum cultivars which turn red/burgundy in mid-summer and last into the fall. They should all be reliable perennials in your zone.

Other than 'Cheyenne Sky' there is 'Rotstrahlbusch,' 'Ruby Ribbons' and 'Shenandoah.' In my opinion, 'Shenandoah' is the best of them.

The Panicum will not have the same foxtail flowers as Pennisetum. They produce finer textured airy flower heads.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 7:41AM
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dgregory_so.cntrl.IL_zone6a

Last September I planted pennisetum "Cassian" and it has taken off nicely. It has produced purple(ish) fox tails similar to what you are admiring. The foliage is mostly green with very little red, but it's a great little grass.

About a month ago I planted panicum "Shenandoah" (one plant split to create two). It has put on new (green) growth and kept the original pretty red leaves and airy flower heads. After terrific advise from Donn about it, and looking high and low, I finally found "Shenandoah" this summer. I'm very pleased!

Deb

    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 4:38PM
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dgregory_so.cntrl.IL_zone6a

Here is Shenandoah, very young but showing red leaves with new growth on the right and airy flowers.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 8:49PM
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dgregory_so.cntrl.IL_zone6a

Here is Cassian. There are hints of red in the leaves, difficult to see in the photo.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 8:55PM
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vivian_2010

Thank you Jean, Donn and Deb for the recommendation. Now I am on a mission to search for Shenandoah and Cassian. They both look lively in Deb's pictures. I think I saw Shenandoah at one of the nurseries but was obsessed about finding the purple fountain grass with the fuzzy seeds (my husband call them fuzzy seeds) at that time.......Now I know better. I can plant both Shenandoah and Cassian at two different gardens.

Thanks again for the help.
Vivian

    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 11:19PM
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