Thursday, September 22, 2011

"Miscanthus" Central Park Grass/"Pennisetum"Red Head Grass

USDA hardiness zones 5-9
Miscanthus sinensis/Pennisetum

These two grasses were planted this year (2011) in early September in a new bed with sandy, rocky soil in Lansing, New York.  The soil was good quality despite many rocks and only peat moss was added to freshen it.  The Red Head was planted between two Central Park plants.

The Central Park variety grows best in full sun, is deer resistant, and easy to grow in average, well drained soil.  The blades are fairly wide with a rich green colour and a silver midrib.  Miscanthus grows 4 to 5 feet high and has eye-catching, fluffy plumes that open in late October. Miscanthus is unrivaled in the diversit and beauty of its flowers, foliage, autumn colours and winter presence. 

The Red Head is a showy ornamental grass for the sun garden that does not seed like many other grasses.  It's huge, 10 inch long smoky purple flowers start to flower already in summer where most pennisetums flower in early fall.  Pennisetums thrive in full sun and well drained soil.  In fall the green foliage turns a straw colored gold.  It will grow to 48 inches high and 36 inches wide.