Purple Fountain Grass, Etc.
Cenchrus setaceus ‘Rubrum’
Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’
ROYAL HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY’S AWARD OF GARDEN MERIT
Cenchrus setaceus (Forssk.) Morrone is the correct and accepted scientific name for this species. It was described as such by Osvaldo Morrone in Annals of Botany (Oxford) in 2010. It was first named and described as Phalaris setacea by Pehr Forsskål in Flora Aegyptiaco (Arabia) in 1775.
Pennisetum setaceum has been regarded as the scientific name for the Purple Fountain Grass for MANY years. The industry still uses this name on their labels and MOST websites still use this name.
Pennisetum setaceum (Forssk.) Chiov. was described by Emilio Chiovenda in Bullettino della Società Botanica italiana in 1923.
Cenchrus L. is the correct and accepted scientific name for the genus. It was described by Carl von Linnaeus in the second edition of Species Plantarum in 1753.
The genus, Pennisetum Pers., was named and described by Christiaan Hendrik Persoon in Synopsis Plantarum in 1805. I know… It’s complicated.
I bought this Purple Fountain Grass from Muddy Creek Greenhouse on June 7, 2018. I put it in the bed on the left side of the porch on the north side of the house.
Origin: Africa, Southeast Asia, Middle East
Zones: USDA Zones 9a-11b (20 to 40° F)
Size: 3-5’ tall x 2-4’ wide
Light: Sun to part shade
Soil: Medium, well-drained soil
Typically grown as an annual outside zones 9-10, they will not survive the winter here. So, if you want a grass that is perennial, you should choose a different species. There are many ornamental and wild grasses that have a similar seed head that are perennial just about everywhere. Just don’t plant an invasive species…
The Purple Fountain Grass is best grown where they will create an interesting focal point and in the back or center of combination planters. They probably aren’t to particular about the soil type as long as it is well-draining. After all, it is a grass…
The Purple Fountain Grass make an excellent addition to flower beds but are best placed where they can be seen. I say that because I put a Salvia microphylla ‘Hot Lips’ in this bed which nearly hid the Purple Fountain Grass.
I haven’t really grown many cultivars of ornamental grasses so this one was a new experience. I am pleased with its performance and will definitely buy more in the future if they are available locally.
I hope you enjoyed this page and maybe found it useful. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, I would like to hear from you. Please click on “like” if you visited this page. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. 🙂 You can check out the links below for further reading. The links take you directly to the genus and species of this plant. The links below are to websites that list this plant as a Cenchrus setaceus or Pennisetum setaceum.