Pennisetum setaceum

Pennisetum setaceum_crimson fountaingrass_ JM Di Tomaso
Photo courtesy Joseph DiTomaso

Synonyms: Pennisetum ruppelii, Phalaris setaceum

Common names: crimson fountain grass; purple fountain grass; tender fountain grass

Pennisetum setaceum (crimson fountaingrass) is a coarse tufted perennial grass (family Poaceae). It primarily grows along the southern California coast. Crimson fountaingrass is well adapted to fire, and plants can recover to pre-burn density, even increase in density, following a burn. It is cultivated as an ornamental, but the red cultivar is sterile and not considered invasive.

Rating: Moderate

Cal-IPC Resources

  • Plant Assessment Form - Information gathered by Cal-IPC on the impacts, rate of spread, and distribution of invasive plants in California. Does not include management information.
  • CalWeedMapper - Statewide maps, climate models, and reports.
  • Cal-IPC News - Our quarterly newsletter. Each issue is available as a pdf.
  • Cal-IPC Symposium Proceedings - Presentations and papers from our annual Symposium.
  • Don't Plant a Pest! - Select your region to find non-invasive alternatives to ornamental species. Also see our statewide brochure on trees.

Other Resources

Symposium Presentations

  • Sweet, L. and J. S. Holt (2010). Ecological correlates of fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum) in California coastal sage scrub. Cal-IPC 2010 Symposium. Ventura, CA, California Invasive Plant Council
  • Clines, J., J. DiTomaso, et al. (2004). Grasses working group. California Invasive Plant Council Symposium 2004. Ventura, CA.
  • Connick, S. and M. Gerel (2004). Partnering to prevent invasions of plants of horticultural origin. California Invasive Plant Council Symposium 2004. Ventura, CA.
  • Northam, F. E. (2001). Invasive plant species management in Arizona. California Exotic Pest Plant Council Symposium 2001. San Diego, CA.
  • Brooks, M. L. and T. C. Esque (1999). Alien grasses in the Mojave and Sonoran deserts. California Exotic Pest Plant Council Synposium '99. Sacramento, CA.
  • Devender, T. R. V., R. S. Frlger, et al. (1997). Exotic plants in the Sonoran desert region, Arizona and Sonora. California Exotic Pest Plant Council Symposium '97. Concord, CA.
  • Thomsen, C. D., W. A. Williams, et al. (1996). Yellow starthistle management with grazing, mowing, and competitive plantings. California Exotic Pest Plant Council Symposium '96. San Diego, CA.

Cal-IPC News Articles

  • (2006). Recommended action on invasive ornamentals. Cal-IPC News. 14: 10.
  • Connick, S. and M. Gerel (2005). Don't sell a pest: A new partnership to prevent plant invasions through horticulture. Cal-IPC News. 13: 4-5,14.
  • (1999). Richmond weed abatement ordinance. CalEPPC News. 7: 10.
  • Madison, J. (1996). Highways as corridors of dispersal. CalEPPC News. 4: 9.
  • (1994). Exotic pest plants of greatest ecological concern in California September 1994. CalEPPC News. 2: 10.
  • (1993). California Exotic Pest Plant Council draft list exotic plants of greatest concern October 1993. CalEPPC News. 1: 6.