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PENNISETUM setaceum 'Rubrum'

Image of Pennisetum setaceum 'Rubrum'

Gerald L. Klingaman

Family

Poaceae

Botanical Name

PENNISETUM setaceum 'Rubrum'

Plant Common Name

Annual Purple Fountaingrass, Purple Fountaingrass

General Description

There are several reasons why this ornamental grass is so popular; it’s easy, tough and truly beautiful. Purple fountaingrass is an attractive warm-season perennial to tender perennial that makes a great addition to sunny borders. Early in the season it forms graceful, upright to arching clumps of slender purple-red and green blades. From midsummer to fall, it produces many long, drooping plumes of soft rose-pink flowers. These are long lived and can be used in fresh or dry arrangements.

This grass is very drought tolerant and grows best in full sun, and average, well drained soil. It is an outstanding plant for containers and looks great when planted in masses with Russian sage, Rudbeckia and tall sedums.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 8

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    8 - 11

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Grass

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    3'-5' / 0.9m - 1.5m

  • Width

    12"-24" / 30.5cm - 61.0cm

  • Bloom Time

    Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall, Fall

  • Native To

    Middle Africa, Iraq, Southern Asia, Western Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Light Pink, Rose

  • Fruit Color

    Sandy Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Red, Green, Purple

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Red, Green, Purple

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Red, Green, Purple, Sandy Brown

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Brown, Sandy Brown

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Dried Flower / Everlasting, Container, Cutflower, Edging, Feature Plant, Foundation, Mixed Border

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes