Launched to coincide with the end of Chelsea Flower Show, ‘Dark Desire’ is a new fountain grass with bright green foliage. It has been named for its freely-produced, rather large, bottlebrush-like flowers. Initially red-tinged, these quickly take on purplish to almost black tones that can seem to smoke and smoulder in the morning or evening sun. Its release, part of an on-going programme to select plants well-suited to the UK climate, marks the beginning of Neil Lucas’s 20th anniversary celebrations at Knoll Gardens.
“There are many fountain grasses, and all are beautiful”, said Neil. “Their fluffy caterpillar-like flowers seem to explode from the foliage in an enthusiastic fountain of flower from mid-summer onwards, but as they originate in warmer climes they have tended not to flower reliably in our damper weather and only a comparatively small selection has been grown successfully here in the UK. We have selected Pennisetum 'Dark Desire' from the species Pennisetum alopecuroides because it has no such inhibitions. It produces masses of flowers from high summer onwards and we believe it will be a wonderful new addition to the palette of fountain grasses we can use to great effect in our gardens.