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First Knight Fountain Grass

Pennisetum purpureum 'First Knight'

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First Knight Fountain Grass (Pennisetum purpureum 'First Knight') at The Home And Garden Center

First Knight Fountain Grass foliage

First Knight Fountain Grass foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  4 feet

Spread:  3 feet

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  7

Other Names:  Purple Fountain Grass, Elephant Grass

Description:

A durable ornamental grass grown for its burgundy-green foliage that intensifies to deep purple-black in summer; center leaves of the clump thrust vertical, outer leaves arch gracefully; will not flower in frost areas; ideal for massing or containers

Ornamental Features

First Knight Fountain Grass' attractive grassy leaves emerge grayish green in spring, turning burgundy in color with pointy deep purple spines and tinges of black. As an added bonus, the foliage turns a gorgeous deep purple in the fall. Neither the flowers nor the fruit are ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

First Knight Fountain Grass is an herbaceous perennial grass with a shapely form and gracefully arching stems. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other garden plants with less refined foliage.

This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and is best cleaned up in early spring before it resumes active growth for the season. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.

First Knight Fountain Grass is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • Rock/Alpine Gardens
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

First Knight Fountain Grass will grow to be about 4 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 3 feet. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years.

This plant should only be grown in full sunlight. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist growing conditions, but will not tolerate any standing water. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for a low-water garden or xeriscape application. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America. It can be propagated by division; however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.

First Knight Fountain Grass is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. Because of its height, it is often used as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Accent  Massing  Rock  Garden  Container 
Applications
Foliage Color  Fall Color  Texture  Plant Form  Winter Value 
Ornamental Features