Pennisetum villosum

9cm pot £7.99
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Buy Pennisetum villosum feathertop: Soft, feathery flowerspikes

This grass dies back to below ground level each year in autumn, then fresh new growth appears again in spring.

  • Position: full sun
  • Soil: light, moderately fertile, well-drained soil
  • Rate of growth: average
  • Flowering period: July to September
  • Hardiness: half hardy (needs protection in winter)

    A deciduous, perennial grass with fine leaves that form a loosely tufted bunch in spring. The greeny-white, wheat-like flowers emerge from this clump in mid summer and these are the real stars of the show. They float like little clouds above the foliage, catching the breeze and bobbing about. Their fluffy texture will soften surrounding planting schemes and they look particularly good when the sun catches them from behind. A great plant for a sensory garden as you cant help but want to touch them. A native of North Eastern tropical Africa, they are not fully hardy and may not survive the winter in colder areas, so are often grown as an annual, but they will usually self seed.

  • Garden care: A generous layer of mulch in autumn will help keep the roots warmer in winter. Prune back the previous years growth each spring.

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Eventual height & spread

Very pretty grass


Lovely in flower arrangements

Animal Lover

West Wales


I would buy this plant again


Lovely planted under pleached fruit trees adding winter interest.




Plant growing well no feather feathers to come


Very good service and plants always healthy so far




Very happy with this plant


When this plant arrived it was small but fresh and in perfect condition. Because it was so small I wasn't expecting many flowers last summer. It produced two flowers which were light and fluffy and lived up to my expectations. It's February now and there are signs that it has survived the winter and I'm looking forward to some new green shoots appearing soon, followed hopefully by a few white, fluffy flowers!

Daisy 7



Beautiful plants


A beautiful ornamental grass, a great addition to borders or pots. Alliums planted amongst them look great

Little apple





Love them.

Dappled grey

Louth , Lincolnshire


Didn't survive winter


Unfortunately winter killed both grasses. I planted in autumn but the winter was severe, wet & cold. Other grasses survived so these must be more tender.

Klinkin' katie

East Lothian


lovely grass


I bought 3 of these last year from crocus and was very pleased with them. I did not find they grew too big or were too overpowering, the height mainly comes from the fluffy heads that rise above the green grass, I thought they were beautiful and took some lovely photos of the heads to use as greetings cards, they were also admired by my friends etc. They died down in the autumn and survived out peculiar winter having been soaked and frozen twice. I left the dead grass on to protect the root but this year I will probably put a fleece cloche over. The regrew from the base. On the whole very pleased. I have grown 40 from seed which I'm passing on to friends, giving to charity sales or using in my garden.






Hmmmm I'm not sure about this grass, based on how untidy it can look when in full swing. Let me hasten to add that the plants Crocus sent were in fine fettle and performed exactly as they said on the tin. No probs there. I bought six but have since removed three from my raised beds. Firstly because they grow really big rapidly and tended to overpower a small urban garden. They also look a bit like a weed when they are not in bloom as they have unremarkable leaves that can look like an overgrown council verge. However, I suspect that in a much bigger border they would not be so overwhelming. For a small garden like mine, where every plant counts I am replacing these with more structured and interesting foliage and textures.




They did not flower last year hopefully they will this year.


Part of landscaping





4.3 10


I had a pennisetum at my previous house ( which was also in Cornwall) in a warm and sunny spot and it was evergreen and looked good all year I THINK ( from images I've found online) it was P Villiosum. Is it likely that this is what it was?, even though I find that plant listed as deciduous as I now want to plant the same thing in my new warm south facing Cornish garden. Many thanks


Hello there Pennisetum can be an annual, deciduous or an evergreen grass so I am not sure which one you had. Pennisetum villosum is normally a deciduous grass, but it could be that your garden was particularly sheltered and protected so it kept it's foliage.

Pennisetum Villosum.Is this grass sometimes referred to as Pennisetum Viridescens?


Hello there No Pennisetum alopecuroides f. viridescens is different from Pennisetum villosum. Hope this helps

am looking for this kind of texture and weight for mixed border on clay. It's south east london sticky clay that I have tried my utmost to improve (composted bark fines, any old organic stuff I can get hands on ..) in a slightly raised bed. Will penisetum thrive, sulk or curl up toes and die on clay? drainage isn't terrible but it is clay.


Hello there This is a lovely grass but I wouldn't recommend it for a clay soil, - really it needs a light, well drained soil so I think it would struggle. But there are other ornamental grasses that will tolerate a clay soil as long it is well drained, and doesn't get waterlogged. Plants like Panicum virgatum 'Shenandoah', Deschampsia cespitosa 'Goldtau', Miscanthus sinensis 'Malepartus', and Molinia caerulea subsp. 'Heidebraut' will all tolerate clay soil. Alternatively you could grow it in a pot so you can still enjoy the grass, but can be sure it has good drainage, then can move it to a sheltered area during the winter for protection. Hope this helps

Late ornamental grasses

Late-season grasses come into their own from September adding another element or two - movement and texture to your garden. Most are tall and graceful and most move and sway with a gossamer presence. As autumn continues the texture of the awns, be it soft

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