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Pennisetum is no longer recognised as a genus. Plants once included are now considered part of the genus Cenchrus.
Since the inflorescence are suitable for dried and fresh arrangements, harvest cut linear leaf at the base. When harvest as a food or a crop, leaves can be cut at the base either by hand or using machinery.
Divide in late spring or early autumn. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. Pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame.
Sow seed in early spring in warm soil and finely cover the seed. Germination usually takes place within 3 weeks.
Rhizomes are the major means of spread in most species. Cultivation or grubbing are used and the detached rhizome sections can form new plants.
Attracts useful insects
Insects such as butterflies and flies.
They add beauty to decorative containers, given sufficient drainage holes.
Generally drought tolerant.
Africa, Asia, Australia, and Latin America.
Tropical, sub-tropical, warm temperate
Loam, Sand, Chalk
Soil PH preference
Neutral, Acid, Alkaline
In African traditional medicine the seed is used to treat chest disorders, leprosy, blennorrhoea and poisonings.
The genus includes pearl millet (P. glaucum), is grown as a grain crop and is an important food crop.
Pink, Cream, Red
Generally pest and disease free.