Purple Fountain Grass
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Purple Fountain Grass
ntroduced Herb Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: African fountain grass, Tender fountain grass, Fountain grass, Purple fountain grass
Botanical name: Cenchrus setaceus    Family: Poaceae (Grass family)
Synonyms: Pennisetum spectabile, Pennisetum setaceum, Pennisetum parisii

Fountain grass is a very showy ornamental grass with graceful, arching leaves, and erect or nodding rose-colored flower spikes up to 12 in long. Fountain grass grows in dense, symmetrical clumps that can get 3-4 ft tall and 2-3 ft across with a fountain of feathery plumes flowing out of the foliage. 'Cupreum' has reddish stems and leaves, and copper-colored plumes. 'Rubrum' and 'Purpureum' are larger, to 5 ft tall, with dark purple leaves and burgundy-red, nodding plumes to 15 in long. 'Eaton Canyon' is a miniature, to 30 in high, with burgundy-red foliage and plumes. These cultivars generally do not set seed, and therefore are good choices for tropical and subtropical climates where the species could become invasive.

Identification credit: Shaista Ahmad Photographed in Delhi.

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