General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Grass/Grass-like
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Slightly alkaline (7.4 – 7.8)
Plant Height: 2-3 feet
Plant Spread: 2-3 feet
Leaves: Good fall color
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Other: Rose-purple
Flower Time: Summer
Underground structures: Rhizome
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Rabbit Resistant
Drought tolerant
Propagation: Seeds: Sow in situ
Pollinators: Wind
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil
Patent/Plant Breeders' Rights: US Plant Patent #12909 on 9-3-2002

Common names
  • Ornamental Grass
  • Oriental Fountain Grass
  • Hardy Oriental Fountain Grass
  • Fountain Grass
Botanical names
  • Accepted: Cenchrus orientalis
  • Synonym: Pennisetum orientale

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  • Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Feb 17, 2019 3:58 PM concerning plant:
    I was surprised today to see that a new generic name was given to some Pennisetum species, including this one, to Cenchrus. This is the most common cultivar of the Oriental Fountaingrass. A good number of conventional nurseries sell some, but it is only occasionally planted. This differs from the mother species that is native to western Asia in having a bright green foliage rather than gray-green, in having darker, more rosy, larger and fuller flower spikes, and being more cold hardy to Zone 5a. I grew one at the side of my garage for about 7 years. I obtained it from digging up a seedling that was produced in the landscape of one of my customers. Floridata reported that this species is not invasive but it does self sow some around the mother plant. As time goes on, the clump starts to sprawl around itself by short rhizomes, and the middle of the clump eventually dies out after 5 to 15 years. Therefore, one should dig the plant up and reset it when the center is dying out or when the plant gets too large and thick with sprawling. Another note is that it is recommended to not cut this grass too low to the ground in late winter or early spring because it won't sprout up as well. It is also a warm season grass, so it does not show life until mid-Spring in late April to mid- May This is definitely a nice, beautiful, soft clump grass species. However, I got tired of my specimen spreading beyond its bounds along the garage strip and I wanted to get more into the native plant theme, so I took mine out and replaced it with Little Bluestem that is upright growing.
  • Posted by cats1 on Aug 15, 2013 8:07 AM concerning plant:
    Karley's a nice non invasive fountain grass. Mine is about 6 or 7 years old, is maybe 4 feet around and about 3 1/2 feet tall. The blooms start off a rose color that age into almost an orange.
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