Pennisetum setaceum (Forssk.) Chiov.
Fountain Grass

This name is not current. Find out more information on related names.

Bull.Soc.Bot.Ital. 1923:113 (1923)
Conservation Code
Not threatened
Naturalised Status
Alien to Western Australia
Name Status
Not Current

Rhizomatous, tufted perennial, grass-like or herb, 0.4-1.5 m high. Fl. purple, Jul to Dec or Mar (occasionally). Loam, sand. Common in disturbed areas.

Grazyna Paczkowska, Descriptive Catalogue, 2 December 1993

Management Notes (for the Swan NRM Region)

General Biology. Growth form. Grass. Life form. Perennial, caespitose. Reproduction. Seed. Dispersal. Wind, water, mammals, livestock, slashing, humans. Photosynthetic Pathway. C4. Seedbank persistence. 6+ years. Fire response. Rapidly resprouts, flowers and sets seeds.

Notes. Weed of woodlands, grasslands, coastal vegetation, rail embankments, roadsides and mines. Is declared a noxious weed in New South Wales and Queensland. Nutrient addition and moisture promote invasiveness. Readily out-competes native plants, can alter nutrient cycling and increase fire fuel loads. Has high phenotypic plasticity. Recovers well from defoliation by rapidly reshooting and flowering. Water availability (particularly wetter summers) affects seed production and may favour spread. Seed set can occur without fertilisation. Seedlings readily establish in wetter years and then become drought tolerant in drier years, allowing it to maintain dominance over other grasses.

Additional information. Origin. Tropical Africa, Middle East. History of use/introduction. Ornamental, sandbinding to prevent erosion. Similar exotic species. Pennisetum villosum.

Suggested method of management and control. Dig out small infestations, slash in winter and/or spray with 1% glyphosate + penetrant in spring to autumn. Follow up seedling control and treatment until regrowth ceases. Use unplanned fire events to effectively control any regrowth. Read the manufacturers' labels and material safety data sheets before using herbicides. For further information consult the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to determine the status of permits for your situation or state.

Management Calendar

Calendar Type Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Comments
Dormant           Y Y            
Active Growth Y Y             Y Y Y Y  
Germination       O Y Y Y Y          
Flowering Y Y           Y Y Y Y Y  
Fruiting Y Y                 Y Y  
Optimum Treatment     Y Y O           Y Y  

Legend: Y = Yes, regularly, O = Occasionally, U = Uncertain, referred by others but not confirmed.



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