Fireworks Pennisetum – Ornamental Plant of the Week for April 27, 2015

Richard Bogren, Owings, Allen D.  |  4/25/2015 12:43:01 AM

Fireworks fountain grass

Fireworks pennisetum – purple fountain grass – is the second Louisiana Super Plant for spring 2015.

Pennisetum is an ornamental grass commonly known as purple fountain grass. And Fireworks is a new red-foliaged variety addition to this group of grasses.

These should be considered as annuals, although some plantings can overwinter successfully in south Louisiana. Plants need full sun and will be 4 feet tall in the landscape by fall. Planted in clumps of three to five, they can be used as vertical focal plants in flower beds. Flower plumes start midsummer and continue until first frost.

Irrigation requirements are minimal, and no insect and pest problems are associated with this unique, new fountain grass.

Some points to consider about Fireworks purple fountain grass:

– Warm-season bedding plan; tender perennial

– Colorful new variegated variety of purple fountain grass

– Hardy down to the low 20s; grows as an annual in north Louisiana and a semihardy perennial in south Louisiana

– Outstanding foliage streaked with red, creamy white and green

– 24 to 30 inches tall; 18 to 24 inches wide

– Full to part sun

– Attractive flower plumes

– Heat tolerant

– Drought tolerant once established

– No major insect or disease problems

– Low maintenance

The Louisiana Super Plant program is an educational and marketing campaign of the LSU AgCenter that highlights tough and beautiful plants that perform well in Louisiana landscapes. Louisiana Super Plants have gone through several years of university evaluations or have an established history of performing well across Louisiana.

Louisiana Super Plants have a proven track record. They are “university tested and industry approved.” Homeowners and professionals alike can benefit from using Louisiana Super Plants to ensure successful landscaping efforts.

Allen Owings
Rick Bogren

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