Pennisetum setaceum

Pennisetum setaceum_crimson fountaingrass_ JM Di Tomaso
Photo: 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.

Cal-IPC Rating: Moderate?

CDFA Rating: None?


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.

Species ID Card

Invasive Species ID Card - To support field identification of early detection species, Cal-IPC has designed a set of Species ID cards that can be downloaded, printed double-sided, and trimmed to size.

Weed Management Notes

  • Management Notes - Information on management techniques and effectiveness from the University of California Cooperative Extension’s Weed Research & Information Center.

Cal-IPC Newsletter Articles

Cal-IPC Symposium Presentations

Presentations are linked where available. Where a presentation is not available, find more information by reading the abstract in the Cal-IPC Symposia Archive.

Other Pennisetum setaceum Information

  • CalPhotos - Images of plants taken mostly in California.
  • Calflora - Distribution map and records of this species in California.
  • CalWeedMapper - Distribution map of this species in California with ability to determine regional priorities.
  • EDDMapS - Distribution of this species in North America.
  • Jepson Interchange - Information on this plant's taxonomy, biology, and distribution from UC Berkeley's Jepson Herbarium.
  • USDA PLANTS Database - Information on identification and distribution, with links to websites in individual states.
  • Additional photos

    Pennisetum setaceum_inflorescence_ZoyaAkulova
    Pennisetum setaceum (crimson fountain grass) inflorescence. Photo: Zoya Akulova
    Pennisetum setaceum_growth habit_ZoyaAkulova
    Pennisetum setaceum (crimson fountain grass) growth habit. Photo: Zoya Akulova