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Black Fountain Grass

Black fountain grass is a striking addition to your garden. The dark plumes of the seed pods contrast nicely with the narrow green leaves.

The color stays late into the season, offering interest late in the year. In the fall the foliage turns a golden brown color.

The arching foliage provides a beautiful shape no matter if it is in front of a larger plant or behind smaller ones. The initial bloom is a purplish color that fades to dark brown and black as the seed ripens.

The plumes will last until early winter before shattering if they are not removed.

Landscaping Ideas

Black fountain grass is perfect for a mixed border or rock garden. Try it in a container with other plants. Use it as groundcover and plant it in large masses. You'll enjoy the way the wind blows it in waves as it rustles.

Plant one next to a landscape boulder for an accent. Use it as a focal point or mix it with other drought resistant plants. This is a great choice for Santa Fe styled gardens.

Plant it next to water so you can enjoy its reflection as much as the plant itself. Use the bottle brush shaped seed heads in cut flower arrangements for visual contrast. The showy plumes arch outwards from the center over the bright green foliage. Plant this ornamental grass where it can benefit from backlighting for a striking appearance.

Plant this grass with other perennials with broad leaves for a nice contrast. Choose flowering plants that complement the dark seed heads on the grass.

Care And Planting Tips

Black fountain grass is an easy addition to your garden. Plant it in full to partial sun for the best effects. Water regularly until well established, when it becomes drought tolerant.

As the plant ages, the center will open up as all the new growth occurs around the edges. Divide the open clump and replant it to get it rejuvenated.

This plant self seeds easily. Propagation can be done by seed or division in the spring. To avoid self-sowing, remove the seed heads before the seed is fully ripe.

The grass that grows from the seed may or may not grow true to form. Black fountain grass is resistant to deer, insects and disease. Grass Information
  • Scientific Name: Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Moudry'

  • Best Soil: Widely adaptable

  • Light Needs: Full sun to partial shade

  • Growth Rate: Moderate

  • Foliage Color: Green

  • Flower Color: Purple-brown-black

  • Bloom Time: Mid to late summer

  • Mature Size: Grows up to 2 feet tall and 3 feet wide in a clump

  • Watering: Low to moderate

  • Hardiness Zone: 5 - 9

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