General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Grass/Grass-like
Sun Requirements: 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 to 4 feet
Plant Spread: 2 to 4 feet
Leaves: Deciduous
Fruit: Other: Pinkish red to purplish, 6 to 10 inch long;
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Other: Reddish-purple
Flower Time: Summer
Late summer or early fall
Uses: Cut Flower
Will Naturalize
Suitable as Annual
Wildlife Attractant: Birds
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Humidity tolerant
Propagation: Other methods: Division
Containers: Suitable in 3 gallon or larger
Needs excellent drainage in pots

Common names
  • Rose Fountain Grass
  • Tender Fountain Grass
  • Fountain Grass
Botanical names
  • Accepted: Cenchrus setaceus
  • Synonym: Pennisetum setaceum

Photo Gallery
Location: Bolingbrook, Illinois
Date: summer in the 1990's
close-up of grass flower spikes
Location: Hinsdale, Illinois
Date: summer of the 1990's
a clump with other big annuals
Location: Bolingbrook, Illinois
Date: summer of the 1990's
a few plants in a foundation planting
  • Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Sep 2, 2020 10:23 AM concerning plant:
    It is easy to find garden centers in the US selling the Red Tender Fountaingrass or some other cultivars with reddish or copperish foliage color, but it is not easy to find the original species with green foliage. In the 1990's I found some seed source of this green-foliaged form, started the seedlings in a small greenhouse and grew them up into mature plants. Before the frost would strike in fall, I would dig up all the Tender Fountaingrasses and store them in the small greenhouse at the hospital where I worked around the grounds in northeast Illinois. I would usually divide them, repot them, grow them on awhile in the greenhouse before placing them outside again in May. This green form is perfectly beautiful and should be used as an annual plant in the northern US along with the red or other colored forms. This species comes from eastern Africa where it is a perennial in that or any tropical climate. It can escape cultivation in the warmer parts of the Southwest USA and become invasive down over there.

« Add a new plant to the database

« The Plants Database Front Page

Today's site banner is by Zoia and is called "PJM in April"

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.