Cenchrus, Rose Fountain Grass, Purple Fountain Grass 'Fireworks'

Cenchrus setaceus

Family: Poaceae (poh-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Cenchrus (SENCH-rus) (Info)
Species: setaceus (se-TAY-see-us) (Info)
Cultivar: Fireworks
Additional cultivar information:(PP18504)
Hybridized by Strasko
Registered or introduced: 2008
Synonym:Pennisetum setaceum
View this plant in a garden


Ornamental Grasses and Bamboo

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade


Grown for foliage


Foliage Color:



36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


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)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us



Bloom Color:

Fuchsia (red-purple)

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Rancho Cucamonga, California

Sacramento, California

Vacaville, California

Inverness, Florida

Plant City, Florida

Mount Prospect, Illinois

Cicero, New York

Henderson, Texas

Richmond, Texas

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Gardeners' Notes:


On May 22, 2013, jimbean13 from Rancho Cucamonga, CA wrote:

Purchased five of these plants at a local nursery last year. Paid a premium for them compared to the standard Red Riding Hood dwarf burgundy variety. Foliage colors were brilliant, but as soon as they were planted, the coloration began to fade and after the plants were cut back after getting too rangy, they all came back burgundy. I hear they retain color better if they are not planted in direct sun all day. Will not purchase again.


On Aug 2, 2012, vossner from East Texas,
United States (Zone 8a) wrote:

As others have mentioned, variegation is very unstable and this variety turns all purple within one season. Mine is in a pot and has turned out to be a very thirsty plant. So, next year (if it comes back) I will transplant inground with the rest of the purple fountain grass that doesn't seem to be quite as thirsty.


On May 17, 2011, soilsandup from Sacramento, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

I bought this plant last year for the coloring and for the shorter height. It grew Ok last year, but I can't remember if the colors were as advertised. It is supposed to overwinter in zone 9a, but there is no new growth so far.


On Aug 30, 2010, MysticVisions from Plant City, FL wrote:

I bought a lot of these in March to use as focal plants to compliment my larger plants around a screen pool enclosure. I was told they would not get more than 18 inches tall and would stay the hot pink, lime green and be similar in stature to lirirope.
This is August and they are at least 3.5 feet tall and look just like the purple fountain grass I have in another sunny area.
The only difference is I paid $10-15 each (30)for these and $3.50 for the purple fountain grass.
Mine have no hot pink or lime green at this point.
I cut one back and it grew back purple not the same hot pink/lime green it was in the beginning.
The plant is pretty IF you are expecting purple fountain grass. My negative choice was because it was not as presented but that is the faul... read more


On Jun 26, 2010, Josette from Henderson, TX wrote:

I bought this plant at the SFA plant sale in April. Was soo excited because it looked just like the photos, having red/cream/green and burgandy stripes. I planted it in full sun as they recommend. This is the end of June and it looks like a short purple fountain grass. I read that if it turns purple, just cut it back and it was become variegated again. Well, I have already cut it back once and it came back purple. I have decided to move it to a partly shaded area and see what happens. Once I see the results, I will change my experience to either Positive or Negative. Right now I am just disappointed


On Jun 20, 2009, grdnrman from Cicero, NY wrote:

A new plant for me; need more time to fully evaluate. In my Syracuse, NY (zone 5) area this plant has to be treated as an annual but I've been told that I can try to overwinter it in a cool basement window giving light watering thru winter. My first impression is that this plant is extremely showy and a fantastic focal point for garden plantings. The foliage arches outward & upward like you would see in holiday fireworks explosions. The outer foliage is a great mixture of bright red-purple-rose with some inner concealed variegated green/white foliage. My initial recommendation is that you SHOULD try this plant if you are interested in colorful foliage plants. I've been told this plant is hardy for zones 9-11; 20 degrees F.