Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Rose Fountain Grass, Purple Fountain Grass
Pennisetum setaceum 'Cupreum'

Family: Poaceae (poh-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Pennisetum (pen-ih-SEE-tum) (Info)
Species: setaceum (se-TAY-see-um) (Info)
Cultivar: Cupreum

One member has or wants this plant for trade.

Ornamental Grasses and Bamboo

Unknown - Tell us

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Scarlet (Dark Red)

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall
Mid Fall
Late Fall/Early Winter

Grown for foliage

Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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1 positive
1 neutral
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral shazco On Oct 26, 2007, shazco from London
United Kingdom wrote:

I have researched this plant and my info shows that this particular cultivar in not invasive. The seeds are sterile unlike most, if not all, of the other varieties. I intend to use this plant in Barbados and it is vital that it does not become a weed.

Positive RMJFL On Jun 22, 2005, RMJFL from Orlando, FL wrote:

Orlando, FL.
I planted a small clump 6x6 inches of red fountain grass and found that it grew to a height of about 4 feet tall. With proper handling and plant maintenance, it has not "spread" to any other parts of my yard or neighbors yard. I edge the base of the ground ball of the plant about every 6 months, it is a quick grower in height but not in width spread. It's pretty, dark cranberry red stalks with a hint of light tan grass at the base. The cranberry red and green seed (or bloom wisps) blow in the wind and give a slight rustling sound that I find soothing.

Negative Judy81350 On May 12, 2005, Judy81350 from Queen Creek, AZ (Zone 9a) wrote:

This plant is a real gem for added background landscaping. . I never water it and it seems to do quite nicely. The seasonal rains seem to do it quite nicely also. It seeds itself very well. Very hardy in zone 9a.

06/11/05: I changed the rating from positive to negative because I just learned that this grass is a noxious weed in Arizona and other places. There is a group of people who go around pulling this grass out anywhere they find it. It is requested that we pull out this grass if we have it in our yards or if we see it along roadsides. It is not native to Arizona and chokes out the native vegetation.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Phoenix, Arizona
Queen Creek, Arizona
Scottsdale, Arizona
Castro Valley, California
Palm Springs, California
San Bruno, California
Big Pine Key, Florida
Hollywood, Florida
Inverness, Florida
Labelle, Florida
Orlando, Florida
Sebring, Florida
Titusville, Florida
Elephant Butte, New Mexico
Austin, Texas
Missouri City, Texas
Clarksville, Virginia

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