Red fountain grass is an ornamental grass that is used in the landscape for its reddish foliage and showy flowers (Fig. 1). The leaves of this 3- to 4-foot-tall plant are narrow, curving, linear blades with a beautiful red cast. The purple-pink or copper colored inflorescence of red fountain grass sits atop a hollow, 3-foot-long, nodding flower stalk. The feathery inflorescence is 12 inches long and occurs from early summer to frost. The fruits of this grass are small seeds that volunteer to form small plantlets nearby; this plant is considered mildly invasive.
Scientific name: Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’
Pronunciation: pen-niss-SEE-tum set-TAY-see-um variety ROO-brum
Common name(s): red fountain grass, purple fountain grass
Fact sheet: Purple Fountain Grass
Sold at Nassau County Master Gardener Plant Sale