Brilliant fall foliage!
Introduced by Kurt Blumel and named for the German plantsman Cassian Schmidt, this Pennisetum reaches just 2 to 3 feet high and not quite as wide at maturity. Its long, arching, pointed leaves are so architectural, adding a dramatic silhouette to any garden (or container) space. And the blooms, when they arise, are light and puffy, shimmying in the breeze on slender but very sturdy stems.
The flowers begin in midsummer in most climates, topping olive-green foliage held in a tight, lush mound. By autumn the flowers have turned yellow and their seeds are fodder for the birds, who come to perch elegantly atop the stems and feast. (Good photo opportunities here!) Meanwhile, as the autumn temperatures fall, the leaves acquire bold splashes and streaks of orange and red. Magnificent!
And when the rest of the garden is sleeping in winter, Cassian keeps its form and color, remaining vibrant through the gray days of December and January. Cut the final flowers for everlasting arrangements indoors, and prepare for another season of beauty with the arrival of spring! You can shear Cassian back in late winter or leave it be; the new foliage will emerge on top of the old.
Like many ornamental grasses, Cassian is quite tolerant of heat, humidity, and drought. Pests and diseases rarely trouble it, and it needs little attention from you to grow and bloom for many years. Rely on it for mass plantings as well as standouts in border and foundation. Zones 5-9.
|ItemForm||3 1/2-inch Pot|
|Zone||5 - 9|
|BloomStartToEnd||Mid Summer - Late Fall|
|PlantHeight||24 in - 3 ft|
|PlantWidth||24 in - 2 ft 6 in|
|AdditionalCharacteristics||Bird Lovers, Bloom First Year, Easy Care Plants, Fall Foliage Changes, Flower, Long Bloomers|
|BloomColor||Beige, Cream, Light Pink, Light Yellow|
|FoliageColor||Olive Green, Orange|
|MoistureRequirements||Dry, Moist, well-drained|
|Resistance||Cold Hardy, Deer Resistance, Disease Resistant, Drought Tolerant, Heat Tolerant, Humidity Tolerant, Pest Resistant|
|SoilTolerance||Clay, Normal, loamy, Poor, Sandy|
|Uses||Border, Containers, Cut Flowers, Everlastings, Fall Color, Foliage Interest, Foundation, Ornamental, Outdoor, Winter Interest|
|Restrictions||Canada, Guam, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands|