Garden Reviews Plant Profile – PENNSTRIPE a showy variegated Pennisetum

Garden Reviews Plant Profile | PENNSTRIPE™ Pennisetum alopecuroides ‘PAV300’ PBR


‘First ever variegated ornamental native grass’

Pennstripe is an Australian native Pennisetum and is a new release for 2009. It is a compact, clumping ornamental grass and it is the first ever ornamental variegated native grass.

Before I go into details about Pennstripe I would like to first touch on the genus Pennisetum as there is a lot of confusion within the horticultural industry as to whether or not it is an environmental weed.

There are 2 species of Pennisetum commonly grown in Australian nurseries one is Pennisetum alopecuroides which is the native Australian species and the other species Pennisetum setaceum which is the highly invasive African species. Unfortunately in the past nurseries have mistakenly grown and sold Pennisetum setaceum as the native species alopecuroides. This has given the native species a bad name and now people commonly confuse it with the highly invasive African species.

Now whenever you say the name Pennisetum people automatically think of an invasive spreading weed. This however is not the case.

Over recent years some new selections of the native Pennisetum have been bred and these are all grown from division to guarantee that you are receiving the non invasive Australian species. After 9 years these native selections such as Pennisetum Nafray have never caused any weed problems to native bushland. So far in trials…read more


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