Grow Me Instead Grow Me Instead
Skip Navigation Links

Swamp Foxtail or Fountain Grass

Swamp Foxtail or Fountain Grass
Photo: André Karwath
Invasive Plant
Swamp Foxtail or Fountain Grass
Pennisetum alopecuroides

A perennial grass with narrow mid to dark green leaves forming a dense clump 60 to 90cm in height. Attractive flower spikes appear above the foliage in the warmer months, showing yellow, green and the distinctive purple colours.

This plants 'Australian native' origin is questioned by many and the natural range of the plant has been confused by extensive use in urban landscape plantings in recent years.



  • The seeds are not plentiful and viability is low however as there is conjecture regarding the distribution of this plant in Asia and Australia it is recommended we promote sterile hybrids or other well established native grasses.
Grow Me Instead

Other superior selections include;

  • Lomandra longifolia and cultivars - Mat Rushes
  • Isolepis nodosa - Knobby Club Rush
  • Gahnia sieberiana - Swamp Gahnia

Ask your local retailer for more superior selections


Alternative Plants

Barbed Wire Grass
Photo: Sheldon Navie
Alternative Plant Barbed Wire Grass
Cymbopogon refractus

Tufted perennial grass growing to 1m in height. Interesting tall flower heads appear in summer; inflorescence is green and red and resembles barbed wire. The foliage has a strong scent of ginger when crushed. Makes an interesting feature grass.

Kangaroo Grass
Photo: Macbird Floraprint
Alternative Plant Kangaroo Grass
Themeda australis

An Australian native grass that has glaucous blue grey leaves and forms a dense mat like tuft. During warmer months the leaves turn maroon adding an interesting contrast. In summer, wiry flower spikes laden with seed often lay down on top of the foliage. This plant is effective as a weed suppressant or for erosion control.

Purple Fountain Grass
Photo: Colourwise Nursery
Alternative Plant Purple Fountain Grass
Pennisetum advena 'Rubrum'

This sterile hybrid is a showy and popular perennial ornamental grass. It grows rapidly forming dense clumps of burgundy coloured foliage up to 1.5m in height. Arching purple pink flower spikes appear above the foliage in summer.

Grow Me Instead