Herb: Chinese Fountain Grass

Latin name: Pennisetum alopecuroides

Family: Gramineae (Grass Family)

Edible parts of Chinese Fountain Grass:

Seed - cooked. It can be ground into a powder and used as a flour. An emergency food, used when all else fails.

Description of the plant:


150 cm
(5 feet)

August to

Habitat of the herb:

Grassy places and waste ground in lowland all over Japan.

Other uses of Chinese Fountain Grass:

Plants form impenetrably dense clumps and when planted close together in drifts make an excellent ground cover. They are best spaced about 45cm apart each way.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse and only just cover the seed. Germination usually takes place within 3 weeks. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in spring. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer.

Cultivation of Chinese Fountain Grass:

Grassy places and waste ground in lowland all over Japan.

Medicinal use of the herb:

None known

Known hazards of Pennisetum alopecuroides:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.