NC State Extension

Pennisetum ‘Karley Rose’

Trial: Perennial

Years Trialed: 2002, 2003

Good Qualities:

Year 1:

Great grass; gives movement to arrangement – mauve rose; Looks good going into winter – we hope; Good strong clumps; Nice bear grass like foliage, flower plumes 8 inches long and feather like; Nice for bouquet work; Good color, a tough plant, will get better every year.

Year 2:

Healthy strong clumps; It did very well and I think it will continue to get bigger and better, the plume is a nice color and it’s a tough plant; Nice bear grass like foliage, nice flower plumes 8 inches long and feather like.

Problems:

Year 1:

Too short yet (2); Limited market; This is just a weedy looking grass – Nothing special about foliage or seed head; Grasshoppers.

Year 2:

Limited market.

Comments:

Year 1:

Very similar to wild pennisetum on the dry side of Hawaii, the big island; Similar to Pennisetum rubrum; Similar to many other pennisetums; I have grown straight species as annual with some results.

Year 2:

Florist like this, I don’t think the wholesalers appreciate the plant because of small bunches, very slow to pick; Very similar to wild pennisetum growing on the dry side of the island of Hawaii, near sea level in lava fields, seems to be very tough and cold hardy in Zone 6.

Trial Data

Year 1

Pennisetum ‘Karley Rose’
Plants flowering (%) Plants dead at end of summer (%) Yield (stems/plant) Stem Length (inches) Market Appreciation Rating – Wholesale (1) Market Appreciation Rating – Retail (1) Market Appreciation Rating – Consumer (1) Repeat Again Rating (1) Ease of Cultivation Rating (1)
Average 100.0 12.5 28.4 25.8 3.0 2.7 3.3 4.0 3.8
Range of Responses 100 0-50 3-80 14-36 3 1-4 1-4 1-5 1-5

(1) 1 to 5 scale, with 5 being the best. Market ratings are based on sales to wholesalers, retailers, or final consumers direct.

Year 2

Pennisetum ‘Karley Rose’
Yield (stems/plant) Stem Length (inches) Market Appreciation Rating – Wholesale (1) Market Appreciation Rating – Retail (1) Market Appreciation Rating – Consumer (1) Repeat Again Rating (2) Ease of Cultivation Rating (2) Average Spacing (in2)
Average 75 36.7 34 3.0 4.0 3.5 4.7 5.0
Range of Responses 0-100 10-75 24-50 3 3-5 3-4 4-5 5

(1) Data shown are from those respondents who harvested stems. Some respondents may not have harvested stems because they were too short. Flowering stems may be longer next year after plants are established. See comments section for more details.

(2) 1 to 5 scale, with 5 being the best. Market ratings are based on sales to wholesalers, retailers, or final consumers direct.

Supplier

Walters Gardens (WG)

P.O. Box 137

Zeeland, MI 49464

888-925-8377

FAX 800-752-1879

sales@waltersgardens.com

www.waltersgardens.com

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