crimson fountaingrass
Cenchrus setaceus (Forssk.) Morrone


Crimson fountaingrass is a perennial, bunch grass that grows from 3-4 ft. (0.9-1.2 m) tall. Leaves are narrow, flat, arching, up to 2 ft. (0.6 m) long and purplish in color. Flowering occurs in summer through fall, when off-white/pinkish plumes develop about 1 ft. (0.3 m) above the leaves. Fruits are dry achenes with long bristles (some cultivars do not produce seed). Crimson fountaingrass is native to Africa and was introduced into Hawaii in 1914 and the southwestern United States in the 1940s. Plants were introduced as ornamentals and have now become invasive in the South.


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EDDMapS Distribution

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State Regulated List

State Regulated List - This map identifies those states that list this species on their regulated list. For more information, visit

Taxonomic Rank

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
Subclass: Commelinidae
Order: Cyperales
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Cenchrus
Subject: Cenchrus setaceus (Forssk.) Morrone

Synonyms and Other Names

Other Common Names:
fountain grass, fountaingrass

Related Scientific Names:
Pennisetum ruppelii (Forsk.) Chiov. (Synonym)
Phalaris setacea (Forsk.) Chiov. (Synonym)


Plants - Grass or Grasslike