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PlantFiles: Fountain Grass
Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Red Head'

Family: Poaceae (poh-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Pennisetum (pen-ih-SEE-tum) (Info)
Species: alopecuroides (al-oh-pek-yur-OH-id-eez) (Info)
Cultivar: Red Head

6 vendors have this plant for sale.

One member has or wants this plant for trade.

Ornamental Grasses and Bamboo

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
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)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:
Maroon (Purple-Brown)

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

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
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From seed; direct sow after last frost
Scarify seed before sowing

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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3 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral cindyvog On Mar 4, 2014, cindyvog from Martinsville, IN (Zone 5b) wrote:

Beautiful knee high grass, nice mounding shape and early beautiful blooms. Has reseeded into my lawn, very bad thing. Easy to remove rough clumps in the garden, very difficult in lawn and have found clumps several yards from planting.

Positive dakotaroser On Jul 19, 2008, dakotaroser from Kingston, NH wrote:

I have 7 of these in different grouping around the yard,
this is a beauty!! nice reddish stalks of brushes to color
the yard, if you love fountain grasses you'll find this one
a must have

Positive efbiosis On May 23, 2007, efbiosis from Oakland, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

Very reliable fountain grass with beautiful flowers. It does have a tendency to re-seed and with gusto.

Positive Shirley1md On Oct 27, 2006, Shirley1md from Ellicott City, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:

"Red Head" is an earlier flowering form of P. alopecuroides. It begins to show its huge, bottlebrush plumes in mid to late summer. Deep purple buds mature to smoky purple plumes. Cooler weather brings out gold tones in the green foliage. This grass doesn't like to have "wet feet".


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

Denver, Colorado
Saint Charles, Illinois
Martinsville, Indiana
Taylorsville, Kentucky
Ellicott City, Maryland
Kingston, New Hampshire
Delta, Ohio
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Knoxville, Tennessee

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