PlantsCenchrus→Purple Fountain Grass (Cenchrus setaceus 'Rubrum')

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Purple Fountain Grass
Give a thumbs up Fountain Grass
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Give a thumbs up Ornamental Grass

Botanical names:
Cenchrus setaceus Accepted
Pennisetum setaceum Synonym

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Grass/Grass-like
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Plant Height: 3 to 4 feet (.9-1.2m)
Plant Spread: 2 to 4 feet (.6-1.2m)
Leaves: Unusual foliage color
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Red
Bloom Size: 6"-12"
Uses: Suitable as Annual
Propagation: Seeds: Other info: Can be invasive in warmer zones where it readily self seeds.
Propagation: Other methods: Division


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Posted by lauribob (N Central Wash. - the dry side - Zone 5b) on Apr 20, 2017 10:00 AM

This is often sold in my area with incorrect zone information. I have purchased it twice where the tag said zone 5 or 6. It's an (expensive) annual for me and the zone 9 information here is undoubtedly accurate.

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Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Sep 2, 2020 10:07 AM

Here in the latitudes of the northern USA, we grow this Tender Fountaingrass and its red cultivar as an annual flower. It is commonly sold in garden centers and nurseries of the Midwestern & Eastern US as an annual plant. This 'Rubrum' (meaning red in Latin) is the most common cultivar. There are some newer cultivars with other shades of reddish being offered also. The regular green mother species is hard to find, but I grew some from seed in the 1990's and used them in that decade. I have dug up this Tender Fountaingrass, whether red or green, in the fall before frost and stored it in a small greenhouse over the winter to divide and replant the next growing season. It is so easy to grow in full sunshine and average soil and it is soft to touch. The species is native to eastern Africa where it is a perennial in the tropics. In the really warm parts of the American Southwest it can escape cultivation and become invasive as far as I have heard. (By the way, I was taken by surprise today to see that the generic name was changed from the old Pennisetum to Cenchrus.)

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Plant Events from our members
MrsBinWY On April 2, 2017 Seeds sown
milk jug, room temp, 16 seeds from ishareflowers
Mielikki On September 17, 2021 Obtained plant
» Post your own event for this plant

Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Beautiful specimen. by eclayne Aug 16, 2012 1:47 PM 1
Identify plant by Nicxr Sep 27, 2018 9:33 AM 1
Salt tolerant plants by eclayne Oct 10, 2020 8:42 PM 133

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