Yesterday, in my latest “Landscape No-No” post, I asked you if you could figure out what was wrong with this landscape that I drove by earlier this summer.
Look closely at the two photos below…
It is a beautiful ornamental grass and is fine for this landscape.
BUT, notice the ornamental grass to the right with the cream-colored plumes.
Here is a closer view…
The problem with regular Fountain Grass (Pennisetum setaceum), is that while attractive – it is considered an invasive plant in many areas including the southern half of the United States and Hawaii.
Native to Africa and the Middle East, it spreads easily and is overtaking areas of the desert, outcompeting the native plants and grasses.
The reason that it’s a problem here is that it was widely planted in the mid 20th century. Unfortunately, that was before people knew it would become a problem.
In this landscape, the homeowners were probably thinking that they were planting the same type of grass as the Purple Fountain Grass (which is not invasive).
SO WHAT CAN BE DONE?
Well, removal is necessary and requires someone with a strong back to take it out.
A great alternative to Fountain Grass that looks even better is called ‘Gulf Muhly’ or ‘Regal Mist’ (Muhlenbergia capillaris ‘Regal Mist’).
It starts out green in spring and summer…
As fall approaches, burgundy-colored plumes begin to appear…