07 Dec Crimson fountain grass and Swamp foxtail grass
Pennisetum setaceum; Pennisetum alopecuroides
A very popular landscape grass, it is now an offence to sell, propagate or knowingly distribute Pennisetum setaceum.
Origin: Africa, Eastern Australia
Habit: Tufted or clump-forming perennial grass to 1m.
Leaves: Thin leathery, arching leaves to 80cm long, with prominent veins.
Flowers: Inflorescence spike-like and feathery, purplish, at the end of long canes. Flowering time: Summer-Winter. P. setaceum – seed heads to 30cm long, P. alopecuroides – seed heads to 8cm long.
Fruit: Both species strongly self-seed. Some new varieties are claimed to have low seed viability.
Roots: Fibrous and shallow.
Dispersal: Seed spread by water, wind, humans, contaminated soil (earthmoving equipment, car tyres etc) and garden refuse dumping.
Control: In bushland situations: Hand dig (bag seed heads), Foliar spray. In the garden: cut flower heads before seeding, bag and dispose of by deep burial at a waste management centre.