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 - This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts, herbaria, and literature. For more information, visit

EDDMapS Distribution

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

State Invasives List

Taxonomic Rank

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
Subclass: Commelinidae
Order: Cyperales
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Cenchrus

Other System Links

Plants: PESE3
Bayer: PESSA
GRIN: 27214
ITIS: 42013
NPDN Host: 36001

Synonyms and Other Names

Other Common Names:
fountain grass, fountaingrass

Related Scientific Names:

Pennisetum ruppelii (Forsk.) Chiov.(Synonym)
Phalaris setacea (Forsk.) Chiov.(Synonym)


Category: Grass or Grasslike