Photo: © Jelitto
Pennisetum alopecuroides f. viridescens
Black fountain grass
Viridescens is an almost black flowering grass native to parts of Asia and Australia.
The smokey-purple flowers appear in late summer over a compact mound of glossy, arching, dark green foliage. The leaves are broader than regular species forming a superb contrast to the dark, tactile, flower heads.
As cold weather sets in, the foliage turns captivating shades of yellow, amber and bronze. Unfortunately this is a tender species of Pennisetum and it will need a protected place to overwinter.
It's the cold and wet that does for it not just the cold, so if kept dry it may survive outside in a very sheltered spot.
Being a relatively compact grass it does lend itself to pots and planters which can be brought indoors.
The changing colours of the plant signal the onset of colder weather so that's your cue.
Tender perennial grass (D)
Full sun, sheltered
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