Thursday, September 9th, 2010...12:00 am

Pennisetum – An Ornamental Millet

Pennisetum glaucum ‘Purple Majesty’by SS&SS

TheGardenLady received this question from Patti.

I was at my local home store yesterday and saw a beautiful ornamenatal grass in a pot. Of course ‘no one’ who worked there knew what it was! They had tag on for the container, nothing about the contents.

The plant to me looked like several mini corn stalks. They were a deep burgandy color. The heads on the plant looked like cattail heads. PLEASE can you give me an idea what this was so maybe I can get some for my house. I have been searching pictures on line and seen nothing like it yet.

It always helps for identification purposes if a reader would email a good, clear photo or photos of a plant or whatever needs identification. I am sure the store wouldn’t mind your taking a picture of the plant. Send the photo/s with your question. The more information TheGardenLady gets, the better she can answer your question/s.

Without a photo, the first plant that jumps into this Garden Lady’s mind is an ornamental millet – Pennisetum. There are a number of different ornamental millets, so my first guess is that the one that interests you is Pennisetum glaucum ‘Purple Majesty’. For good photos of this plant check out this website.

Pennisetum glaucum can be bought as seed and planted.  See here.  But it might be too late to plant it outdoors in your area this year. If you buy the plant you can save the seeds to plant next year. People love to add this plant to gardens or pots for the color of the leaves and texture of the seeds.  See here.

Of course, it could be Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’ commonly called Red Fountain Grass.  See here.  But this Pennisetum did not quite fit your description.

Please let TheGardenLady know if Pennisetum glaucum ‘Purple Majesty’ is the plant that you like.

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