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Pennisetum Purple Baron

Flower Spikes Turn Into Attractive Seed Heads in Winter

Item # 28128
Ships in Fall at the proper planting time for your zone. View Schedule

Purple Baron is a warm-season ornamental grass, also known as millet, offering summer and fall interest. Resembling maize or corn, the plant has narrowly lanceolate burgundy foliage that emerges green, darkens to purple as it matures, and turns shades of brown in winter. Large flowerheads with feathery bristles, reminiscent of cattails, sit atop long, sturdy stalks throughout summer and fall and turn into attractive seed heads in winter, especially appealing to birds, including goldfinches and sparrows. The flower spikes make lovely cuts for fresh floral bouquets, and seed heads are good additions to dried arrangements.

More compact than 'Purple Majesty', with shorter and wider leaves and slightly darker color, Purple Baron has an upright habit and grows to about 3 feet tall, fitting nicely into small spaces and mixing well with lower plants. It is shown to best effect when mass planted in the landscape, but it also makes a perfect specimen plant or "thriller"—a big, bold, vertical focal point—for a thriller, filler, and spiller container, adding lovely color and texture.

As easy as it gets to grow, a perfect choice for beginners, the plant prefers full sun to dappled shade and average, normal to sandy, neutral, acid, or alkaline soil that is evenly moist and well drained. But it tolerates poor soils and dry conditions.