The Temperate Database is in the process of being updated, with new records being added and old ones being checked and brought up to date where necessary. This record has not yet been checked and updated.
Common Name: Chinese Fountain Grass
Pennisetum alopecuroides is a Deciduous Perennial up to 1.20 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and source of materials.
E. Asia - China, Japan, Korea and northeast India.
Grassy places and waste ground in lowland all over Japan[
Requires a light well-drained soil in a sunny position[
]. Succeeds in dry soils and, once established, tolerates drought[
This species is only hardy in the mild areas of Britain[
]. Plants are growing well at Cambridge botanical gardens, which is certainly not one of the milder areas of the country[
]. There are many named varieties selected for their ornamental value[
Plants do not flower freely in Britain except in warm sunny autumns[
]. Older clumps are more shy of flowering than young clumps[
Seed - cooked. It can be ground into a powder and used as a flour[
]. An emergency food, used when all else fails[
Plants form impenetrably dense clumps and when planted close together in drifts make an excellent ground cover[
]. They are best spaced about 45cm apart each way[
Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse and only just cover the seed. Germination usually takes place within 3 weeks. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Division in spring. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer.