It's time to vote on our 2017 photo contest! Vote for your favorite photos of the year here!

Rose Fountain Grass, Purple Fountain Grass 'Red Riding Hood'

Pennisetum setaceum

Family: Poaceae (poh-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Pennisetum (pen-ih-SEE-tum) (Info)
Species: setaceum (se-TAY-see-um) (Info)
Cultivar: Red Riding Hood
Additional cultivar information:(aka Graceful Grasses Red Riding Hood)


Ornamental Grasses and Bamboo

Foliage Color:



Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

12-15 in. (30-38 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)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Scarlet (Dark Red)

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall


Grown for foliage

Good Fall Color

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:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Chandler, Arizona

Scottsdale, Arizona

San Jose, California

Stockton, California

Scarborough, Maine

Calabash, North Carolina

Kure Beach, North Carolina

Enid, Oklahoma

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Cibolo, Texas

Georgetown, Texas

Marble Falls, Texas

Danville, Virginia

Lynch Station, Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On May 7, 2012, Tunnelmotor from Picture Rocks, AZ wrote:

I planted three in full sun in the Tucson area and they grew a bit larger than I anticipated, perhaps 40 inches high. The effect is dramatic and the color provides an excellent contrast near greener plants. All three survived the first winter; each was covered during freezes in the 20s. The second winter was more mild, with just a few mornings in the upper 20s, so I did not cover the plants. This spring, just one came roaring back and I have seen no sign of life from the other two. If you plant these as a potential perennial, have a heavy-duty electric trimmer on hand; the stalks die out in late fall during freezes and the grass should receive a crew cut in the early spring. Also, anticipate some debris from dead stalks.


On Apr 7, 2010, VaBlueBelle from Danville, VA wrote:

I've grown this for three years. I am in zone 7. It will not survive the winters here, so plan on it as an annual. It does not grow more than a few feet. Great poolside plant in pots.


On Jul 7, 2006, txgrrrl from Marble Falls, TX wrote:

Neat little grass. Closer in attractiveness to taller varieties of "Purple Fountain Grass" than any I've seen thus far. As the taller types are not hardy in my area, fingers crossed this one will be. Wanted to add,though, that two of the previous comments about this grass, which denote to it's size being around 6' in height, are not speaking of this exact variety as Red Riding Hood is a *dwarf*.


On Nov 15, 2005, Anita_Challis from Chandler, AZ wrote:

Fountain Grass grows like a weed in the low desert of AZ and is becoming a pest. 'Purpurea' variety is sterile, no seeding problems.

Usually has 6 ft spread, successfully contained by sinking a large bucket into the ground to produce a 4x4 ft shrub that makes a great backdrop to silver-leaved sages and a companion planting to a purple flowering plum tree.


On Sep 16, 2005, chnall from Dallas, TX wrote:

Beautiful plant and great addition to the garden. Evereyone has admired them profusely. Mine have grown to almost 6'. Yesterday's rain and wind almost flattened them. I planted them in a triangle and am going to add 2 more plants to the center to give support. Mine is labeled "Eaton Canyon" but according to the description by San Marcos Growers, it was introduced by Magic Growers Nursery as Eaton Canyon and by EuroAmerican Nurseries as Red Riding Hood.


On Feb 2, 2005, NatureWalker from New York & Terrell, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Upright and arching. A dwarf form of 'Rubrum', this rich burgundy- colored fountain grass does wonders for borders and corners, and any container garden. 'Red Riding Hood' adds height without outgrowing its welcome. Wonderful for smaller borders. Pest and disease-free. Perfect for containers even 1 to 5 gallons; and smaller borders.
The 'Hardiness Temperature' is usually 20F; but if left in containers can be brought in for the winter, or stored in the basement.
Height can reach 18-30", but not any higher.

~* Robin