Pennisetum, Fountain Grass 'Red Head'

Pennisetum alopecuroides

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


Ornamental Grasses and Bamboo

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Grown for foliage


Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us



Bloom Color:



Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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


This plant is said to grow outdoors 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

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Aug 19, 2018, GwenSA from Lone Tree, CO wrote:

I planted this in the fall of 2010 and I am in zone 5B, a suburb of Denver, CO. I did not notice that it was seeding everywhere until a few years ago. It's a beautiful plant, but not if it's going to be invasive. Very disappointed because it has even started seeding in our lawn.


On Sep 28, 2015, esanita from Tyaskin, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:

A very strong negative. This thug seeds itself everywhere. I pulled out hundreds of seedlings this past spring, after one year of blooming. Don't buy this plant; it's invasive to the extreme.


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.


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


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.


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".