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Family: PoaceaeMain Season: AutumnFlower Colour: GreyLeaf Colour: GreenFoliage: DeciduousPosition: SunSoil Type: Dry, well drainedHeight: 60cm to 90cm (2' to 3')Peat Free? YesHardiness Guide: RHS H4 minimum -5°C to -10°CPot Size: 9cm
Recent P. orientale hybrid from John Greenlee. Upright clumps of foliage topped with masses of tail-like feathery spikes to 1m. Drained soil in full sun.
If you like the effect of Pennisetum orientale but find that it is not winter hardy then this plant may be just what you are looking for. While we find that most selections of Pennisetum orientale will survive most winters the extremely low temperatures in winters like 2011-12 did kill them in the ground. 'Fairy Tails' on the other hand seems to be okay with the coldest temperatures we get here (-16 deg C the record so far) as long as it is in well drained soil or protected from excessive wet.
Clumps of fresh green foliage this long flowering plant produces it's first flowers in May and June and continues until the frosts in late autumn. The bottlebrush like flowers are produced on upright stems and start out pinkish before fading to a warm buff in seed, though it doesn't self-seed. The weight of the flowers does cause the stems to nod a little but they don't flop.
For a sunny, open position in drained soil. Pennisetum 'Fairy Tails' also makes an excellent container plant but you may need to protect the container from freezing too much. Typically to about 1m but it can grow taller in fertile soil with plenty of moisture.
From grass expert John Greenlee's nursery in California.
Syn. Pennisetum 'Fairy Tales'.
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