Pennisetum Red Head

Absecon, NJ(Zone 7a)

The landscaping company at my Adult Community is trying to tell me that my Pennisetum Red Head is spreading its seeds on my lawn and some of my neighbors lawns. I think this is wrong and that the weeds on my lawn are nut sedge. Does anyone know if Pennisetum spreads seeds on to other areas by wind?

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

Pennisetum can spread, but that doesn't necessarily mean that's what's popping up in everyone's lawn. Nutsedge is not at all uncommon as a weed. Can you post some pictures of the babies? Someone should be able to tell you if they're nutsedge or Pennisetum or something else.

Absecon, NJ(Zone 7a)

I'll take some pics and see if you agree if it's nutsedge vs. Penniestum.

Absecon, NJ(Zone 7a)

Here's a pic of the culprit on my lawn. Do you think this is nut sedge or spreading of the pennisetum.

Thumbnail by dottiemon
Absecon, NJ(Zone 7a)

Now here's a pic of the Pennisetum that's near the front lawn.

Thumbnail by dottiemon
Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

Definitely not nutsedge, it's definitely a grass of some sort but to me it doesn't look quite right for Pennisetum. I'm not sure what it is though. If you don't get an answer here, you might post your pictures in the ID forum and see if someone there knows

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

Ecrane, I grow a lot of pennisetum villosum (tender perennial) and pennisetum alopecuroides (hardy perennial) and I do believe that plant is a cultivar of pennisetum. Please see pic.

It does have a tendency to seed under some circumstances. Sometimes mine sprouts a plant in the middle of the lawn. You can't miss it if you mow - and I have to dig it out. Some years there are lots of them, and some years almost none.

So, yes, it is quite possible that your lovely platys are "gifting" your neighbors' yards.

Donna

This message was edited Sep 27, 2011 2:17 PM

Thumbnail by DonnaMack
Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

Just to be clarify--I wasn't questioning the 2nd pic which shows the whole plant, that is definitely Pennisetum. I was questioning the smaller 1st picture--I've also grown numerous Pennisetums over the years and to me the flowering part doesn't quite look the same, but it's hard to be sure from just that one picture.

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

Sorry ecrane, I wasn't clear. The first picture looks EXACTLY like pennisetum, which shows up in any cracks in my sidewalks and in lawn. Sometimes I use a screwdriver to get it out. Again, its seeding itself around varies from year to you. I'm not sure what the connection is. Some years I dig ten out of the lawn and sidewalk, some years just one or two. But unfortunately what this means is that the plant is seeding itself around. The minibloom on the first picture is even the same color as the plant in full bloom. People tend to notice it when they mow their lawns and see the seedlings with their heads cut off.

It has lots of seeds, so they may have been spread by the wind. I have seven of them, and the neighbors never complained, but I don't know whether that was because they didn't care. My neighbors are from the school of let the landscaper throw in whatever, and if it lives, fine, if it dies, fine.

Absecon, NJ(Zone 7a)

Thank you all for clarifying that it's not nut sedge. I guess I have to get rid of the pennisetum before it inhabits everyone's lawn in the neighborhood. Our landscaping company won't get rid of the seedlings and says if I don't get rid of the pennisetum, I'll have to pay for all the neighbors infestations.

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

I'm so sorry to hear that. It's such a wonderful plant. I love it and I know you will miss it. I suspect the willingness of your plant to share its glories with the neighbors has to do with the fact that you are in zone 7a. I think that survival of seedings is dicier in my zone.

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

I think that they are more of a problem in warmer zones. Although my Pennisetums have never reseeded for me out here either and I'm in zone 9. But it's possible that mine did reseed but the seedlings got confused with all the other weedy grasses that pop up in my beds and they got pulled before they had a chance to grow!

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

Got confused with the other weedy grasses - LOL!

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