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Double Take on Prominent Grass Combination

Pennisetum forms a collar around Panicum in this unique combination

Pennisetum forms a collar around Panicum in this unique combination

Chris & I were driving down to Raleigh this summer for the annual Garden Writers Convention, when we pulled into a rest area whereupon our eyes were immediately drawn to   a couple of massive clumps of  ornamental grass.   As we got closer, we realized it was a combination of 2 different grasses that gave the illusion of 1 big one.

Inspiring Combination

Dressed to Impress - Ornamental Grass

Circling around a single specimen of Panicum was a number of Pennisetum clumps. This works really well because this particular type of Panicum has an upright,narrow habit. It also has just the right height giving good balance  in this combination.

The Pennisetum grass works as a collar around the Panicum as the plumes  jetison outward.  The leaves of  Pennisetum bend downward providing a skirt-like appearance  as if dressed and ready for a  party.

I can see using other plants that share  a similar form to the Panicum such as Calamagrostis Karl Foerster,  or Ilex Sky Pencil.  What about trimming up a Hydrangea or a Sambucus and then encircling it with your favorite Pennisetum?  It seems there are some opportunities here for some creative plant combinations.

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