Alphabetical Plant Listing

Pennisetum setaceum (Purple Fountain Grass)

Purple Fountain Grass, African Fountain Grass, Fountain Grass, Ruby Grass, Pennisetum rueppellii


Making a dramatic statement in the landscape, award-winning Pennisetum setaceum (Purple Fountain Grass) is a showy ornamental grass forming a mound of gracefully, arching, narrow leaves. In mid summer to early fall, the foliage is topped with slender feathery pinkish flowers plumes, up to 15 in. long (37 cm), drying to tan as they mature. Requiring very little care while providing color and movement in the garden or patio, Pennisetum setaceum is tolerant of high temperatures, humidity, wind, drought, and is pest-free. A popular warm-season grass that is perfect for tropical effects in cold climates. Evergreen and ever-blooming if well watered in mild climates.

  • Recipient of the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society
  • Fast grower, Purple Fountain Grass typically grows up to 3-5 ft. tall (90-150 cm) and 2-4 ft. wide (60-120 cm).
  • Welcomed in any garden style, Purple Fountain Grass is a focal point wherever it is planted. It is versatile and can be used as a specimen plant, provides a dramatic effect in groups or en masse. It is ideal in borders where it provides texture, color and contrast and looks impressive in containers. Efficient for softening driveways or courtyards too!
  • Performs best in full sun in light, moderately fertile, well-drained soils and provides weeks of interest. Ignored by deer!
  • Tender, it is mostly grown as an annual in cool climate areas. Self-sows readily in warm climates.
  • Usually pest and disease free.
  • Cut back after flowering.
  • Propagate by seed sown in early spring.
  • Native to tropical Africa, southwestern Asia, and Arabia.

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Requirements

Hardiness 8 – 11
Heat Zones 8 – 12
Climate Zones 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, H1, H2
Plant Type Ornamental Grasses
Plant Family Pennisetum - Fountain Grasses
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 3' – 5' (90cm – 150cm)
Spread 2' – 4' (60cm – 120cm)
Spacing 36" – 48" (90cm – 120cm)
Water Needs Low, Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Dried Arrangements, Cut Flowers, Plant of Merit, Showy
Tolerance Deer, Drought
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Coastal Garden, Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

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Botanik Foto, ©Clive Nichols

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 8 – 11
Heat Zones 8 – 12
Climate Zones 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, H1, H2
Plant Type Ornamental Grasses
Plant Family Pennisetum - Fountain Grasses
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 3' – 5' (90cm – 150cm)
Spread 2' – 4' (60cm – 120cm)
Spacing 36" – 48" (90cm – 120cm)
Water Needs Low, Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Dried Arrangements, Cut Flowers, Plant of Merit, Showy
Tolerance Deer, Drought
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Coastal Garden, Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Pennisetum - Fountain Grasses

Guides with Pennisetum - Fountain Grasses

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