Cenchrus setaceus

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Cenchrus setaceus
Starr 040217-0077 Pennisetum setaceum.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Clade: Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Subfamily: Panicoideae
Genus: Cenchrus
C. setaceus
Binomial name
Cenchrus setaceus
(Forssk.) Morrone
  • Pennisetum erythraeum Chiov.
  • Pennisetum numidicum Paris
  • Pennisetum parisii (Trab.) Trab.
  • Pennisetum phalaroides Schult.
  • Pennisetum ruppellii Steud.
  • Pennisetum scoparium Chiov.
  • Pennisetum setaceum (Forssk.) Chiov.
  • Pennisetum spectabile Fig. & De Not.
  • Pennisetum tiberiadis Boiss.
  • Phalaris setacea Forssk.

Cenchrus setaceus, commonly known as crimson fountaingrass, is a C4 perennial bunch grass that is native to open, scrubby habitats in East Africa, tropical Africa, the Middle East and south-western Asia. It has been introduced to many parts of the world as an ornamental plant, and has become an invasive species in some of them. It is drought-tolerant, grows fast, reaches 3 feet in height, and has many purple, plumose flower spikes.

Environmental threat[edit]

Fountaingrass has been introduced to the Canary Islands,[1] Sicily, Sardinia, southern Spain, Australia,[2] South Africa, Hawaii, the western United States,[3] southern Florida and New Caledonia.[4] It thrives in warmer, drier areas and threatens many native species, with which it competes very effectively as an invasive species. It also tends to increase the risk of intense wildfires, to which it is well adapted, thus posing a further threat to certain native species.[5]

In Europe, Fountain grass is included since 2017 in the list of Invasive Alien Species of Union concern (the Union list).[6] This implies that this species cannot be imported, cultivated, transported, commercialized, planted, or intentionally released into the environment in the whole of the European Union.[7]



  1. ^ "Tackling Exotic Flora in the Teno Rural Park". Secret Tenerife. 28 January 2007. Retrieved 2009-02-26.
  2. ^ "Fountain Grass". Weed Identification & Information. Australian Weeds Committee. Archived from the original on 2008-08-04. Retrieved 2009-02-26.
  3. ^ "Fountain Grass". Alien Plant Working Group. Plant Conservation Alliance. Retrieved 2009-02-26.
  4. ^ Hequet, Vanessa (2009). Les espèces exotiques envahissantes de Nouvelle-Calédonie (PDF) (in French). p. 17.
  5. ^ "Eradicating invasive alien species: the battle against African fountain grass". Times of Malta. 30 October 2021.
  6. ^ "List of Invasive Alien Species of Union concern - Environment - European Commission". ec.europa.eu. Retrieved 2021-07-27.
  7. ^ "REGULATION (EU) No 1143/2014 of the European parliament and of the council of 22 October 2014 on the prevention and management of the introduction and spread of invasive alien species". Archived from the original on 2017-03-03.

External links[edit]