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Setaria palmifolia

Pronunciation: Set-tare-ee-uh palm-ih-foh-lee-uh
Family: Poaceae/gramineae (grass family)
Common Name: Palm grass, bristle grass
Plant Type:
  • grasses
Height to: 3-8'
Width to: 6'
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • 20 to 10ºF ZONE 8
  • 30 to 20ºF ZONE 9
  • 40 to 30ºF ZONE 10
  • 50 to 40ºF ZONE 11
Sun Exposure:
  • part sun
  • full sun
Bloom Season:
  • mid autumn
  • late autumn
  • early winter
Bloom Description: The inflorescence is a greenish cylindrical spike that stands above the leaves on a slender, arching stalk that reaches several feet above the foliage. 'rubra' has purplish midribs. Cultivars with striped leaves are available.
Soil Type: Prefers moist soils and can be planted at the edge of lakes and ponds where it will thrive (if not actually take over). Amazingly, palm grass is also happy growing in dry shade and established plants are relatively drought tolerant.
Plant Perks:
  • Easy to Grow/Ideal for Children
  • Container Gardening
Propagation: Propagate palm grass by division and by seed. It will self-seed in warm climates but seedlings are shallow rooted and easy to eliminate.
Native to: India. It has become a troublesome weed throughout much of the tropical and subtropical pacific region.
Notes for Identification: Palm grass has a coarse texture that may not be easy to fit into some garden designs. It is best grown as a specimen for the tropical look provided by its wide, palmlike leaves. Palm grass is a good choice for tub and container culture and stored indoors for the winter. Some gardeners in cooler zones grow palm grass in the ground in summer, then dig it up and bring indoors in winter. In frost-free climates palm grass is grown in the partial shade of palm trees, in the woodland garden, and along walkways warning this plant is not recommended for zones 9 and 10. Caution is also recommended in zone 8 - especially in moist or wet soils
Located in: Grasses
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