red baron grassPurple fountain grass is the most popular grass in gardens lately. New purple introductions are sure to be as popular.

The showpiece in public gardens last year was Ornamental millet F1 “Purple Majesty.” It is a stunning plant with 3-5 foot tall seed heads that resemble purple corn. In summer the foliage turns a rich purple-burgundy. This plant is equally at home in borders or containers, but it is not winter hardy.

An exciting prospect for a hardy purple grass is Panicum virgatum ‘Shenandoah’. It starts out green, just like fountain grass and millet, but by mid-summer the leaves begin to turn red, gradually becoming wholly wine-red. At four feet tall this grass is useful as focal point in the sunny border.

So this summer don’t worry about the grass being greener on the other side, purple grass is all the rage.