Pennisetum glaucum. Start the precious seeds of this jaw-dropping annual indoors six to eight weeks before your last frost date, and space the seedlings at least 60cm (24") apart. This magnificent hybrid millet is the very meaning of ornamental, with dark, mahogany/purple leaves followed by stunning, cattail-like panicles (seed heads) that can reach 1.2m (5') tall. Grow single plants in large patio containers for a summer long spectacle or use the seed heads in bouquets or as dried flowers. It would also look amazing as a kind of hedge or in other mass plantings. We dried the panicles from our summer seed trial — they actually smell like brown sugar!
Millet is the very picture of ornamental grass. The golden green foliage darkens at the points most exposed to the sun, becoming more mahogany in tone. About mid summer, the rush-like panicles begin to emerge, rising to a height of 90cm (36"). Continue reading below for some tips on how to grow millet from seed.