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Plume Grass Cenchrus setaceus

Previously known as:

  • Pennisetum setaceum
Phonetic Spelling
pen-nih-SEE-tum seh-TAY-see-um
Description

Annual Fountain Grass is a mounding, clumping herbaceous grass that grows 2-4' tall and is normally grown as an annual. This plant blooms in summer and blooms until frost. Typically, the reddish-purple selections are used for color accenting. This plant is utilized as a bedding plant, in bed backgrounds, in borders, and in fresh flower arrangements. This plant can become invasive through seed dispersal. This plant prefers full sun to partial shade in arid type conditions. It has invaded much of the southwest of the USA.

Soil: Wide range of soil types

Quick ID Hints:

  • Clumping grass with burgundy to reddish-purple leaves
  • Inflorescence a bottlebrush raceme of spiklelets
  • Spiklelet reddish-purple, plosemosely awned

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: No significant problems but weedy and spreads readily by seeds. Considered invasive in some southern west coast states

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Cupreum'
  • 'Fireworks'
  • 'Purpureum'
  • 'Red Riding Hood'
  • 'Rubrum'
  • 'Rubrum Dwarf'
  • 'Vertigo'
'Cupreum', 'Fireworks', 'Purpureum', 'Red Riding Hood', 'Rubrum', 'Rubrum Dwarf', 'Vertigo'
Tags:
#deciduous#weedy#high maintenance#fast growing#aggressive#deer resistant#playground plant#pollinator plant#fantz#weedy grass#bird friendly#stormwater demo garden orange co#Buncombe County Sun and Shade Garden
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Cupreum'
  • 'Fireworks'
  • 'Purpureum'
  • 'Red Riding Hood'
  • 'Rubrum'
  • 'Rubrum Dwarf'
  • 'Vertigo'
'Cupreum', 'Fireworks', 'Purpureum', 'Red Riding Hood', 'Rubrum', 'Rubrum Dwarf', 'Vertigo'
Tags:
#deciduous#weedy#high maintenance#fast growing#aggressive#deer resistant#playground plant#pollinator plant#fantz#weedy grass#bird friendly#stormwater demo garden orange co#Buncombe County Sun and Shade Garden
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Cenchrus
    Species:
    setaceus
    Family:
    Poaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Norther & Eastern Africa
    Wildlife Value:
    Attracts birds
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Attracts Pollinators
    Textural
    Wind Shimmer
    Dimensions:
    Height: 3 ft. 0 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 3 ft. 0 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Ornamental Grasses and Sedges
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Erect
    Mounding
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    High
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    3 feet-6 feet
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    9b, 9a, 10b, 10a, 11b, 11a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Purple/Lavender
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Spike
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Good Cut
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Size:
    > 6 inches
    Flower Description:
    Inflorescence if a terminal, elongated raceme of spiklets resembling a bottlebrush that is reddish-purple in color. Spiklets are 1-3 flowered, awned, and awns are plumose basally.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Feel:
    Rough
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Leaf Type:
    Sheath
    Leaf Shape:
    Linear
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are rigid, linear, sheathing, scabrous, often burgundy to reddish-purple in color, and up to 1' long.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Attracts:
    Pollinators
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Problems:
    Weedy