Palm Grass

Setaria palmifolia

Family: Poaceae (poh-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Setaria (set-TARE-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: palmifolia (palm-ih-FOH-lee-uh) (Info)


Ornamental Grasses and Bamboo

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


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)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade



Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:

Mid Fall

Late Fall/Early Winter


Grown for foliage



Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

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:

By dividing the rootball

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Direct sow as soon as the ground can be worked

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Seed Collecting:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


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


Berkeley, California

Pasadena, California

San Diego, California

Brooksville, Florida (2 reports)

Gainesville, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida

Plant City, Florida

Yulee, Florida

Makawao, Hawaii

Mandeville, Louisiana

Stilwell, Oklahoma

Florence, South Carolina

Houston, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jan 5, 2016, siege2055 from Stilwell, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

I germinated seed purchased from Onalee, had very good germination rates. Already a pretty grass at about 4 inches tall, and starting to develop the pleating.I have seen some reports of this surviving zone 7 but not going to get my hopes up too high. I will try 2 ways of overwintering. 1 leave it in the ground with about a foot of leaf mulch, and 2 dig up and toss the root balls in plastic bags with a few holes punched, and store under my house with the Orinoco Bananas and other tropicals in winter. I will update after testing in my zone 7a outdoors next winter.


On Jun 9, 2015, hpwra from Makawao, HI wrote:

Highly invasive in the Hawaiian Islands. Forms dense cover in the understory of mesic to wet forests, crowding out and suppressing the regeneration of native vegetation.


On Oct 29, 2012, Tuscawilla from Micanopy, FL wrote:

Beautiful grasses when blooming or not blooming. Had it growing in part shade. It took a hard hit last winter and i totally lost one plant, but the other has come back some. Moved some seedlings to full sun but so far they are not doing that well. Hope the mother plant comes back to its former glory. Will try some in a shadier area and see how they might fill in under some old holly.


On Aug 8, 2012, JaxFlaGardener from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

Makes a very dramatic, arching clump for landscapes, but it reseeds very freely and can be invasive. I try to cut the flower heads off in late summer when it blooms, but I still get seedlings popping up within about 25 ft of any clump of Setaria palmifolia.


On Oct 3, 2009, mswestover from Yulee, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

I bought four small plants from Revlar Farms in Aug 08. They thrived and have tripled in size. I do not water them too much, I do not want them to take over the flower bed. I am beginning to think I will need to move a couple of them with their babies later this fall. Beautiful when in bloom.


On Sep 28, 2009, Jungleman from Pasadena, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

Grows beatifully in shade to part sun here in Pasadena (rather dry Zone 9b), with average to little water. Can get a little rangy in full shade, but will fill out when cut back. Beautiful understory plant - surprised it is not even in the Sunset Western Garden Book. Seems an ideal shade plant for the West.

Update: 2011

I find that it is not a choice plant for the West because it is not as suited to our dry summers. It gets big and sparse, unless you cut it back twice a year, then you have to deal with the blank spot in the garden. I underplanted it (yes, underplanted - it is that big) with Chlorphytum comosum (spider plant) to alleviate this problem. It is a beautiful plant. It is just better suited to the warm, humid East. That said, I still like it... read more