Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk project (HEAR) logo OISC target species
fountain grass

fountain grass/ fountaingrass

Pennisetum setaceum (Poaceae)

Fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum) poses a major threat to many of Hawaii's natural and developed areas and has been designated a noxious weed PDF icon by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture. The Division of Forestry and Wildlife of the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources has designated fountain grass as one of Hawaii's Most Invasive Horticultural Plants.

Fountain grass, native to Africa, is a clumping grass up to a meter (three feet) tall with long purple to rose-colored inflorescences. Originally introduced as an ornamental plant, fountain grass has become an aggressive, habitat-altering invader. It is not a good pasture grass, and it degrades the quality of pasture lands, particularly in drier areas. Fountain grass is also fire-adapted and can sustain fires that spread quickly into adjacent areas. The worst infestation occurs on the Island of Hawaii, where fountain grass covers at least 200,000 acres. Resource managers on the Big Island spend over $500,000 per year controlling fountain grass. Fewer than 200 acres of fountain grass occur on the island of Oahu. Most of the fourteen populations on the island have been treated at least once. Major infestations occur on Diamond Head and Punchbowl Craters and in Lanikai.

For more information:

Link to fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum) images
fountain grass
(Pennisetum setaceum)

map of fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum) distribution on Oahu (2002)

map of fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum) distribution on Oahu (2002)

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The Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk (HEAR) project is currently funded by the Pacific Basin Information Node (PBIN) of the National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII) through PIERC (USGS) with support from HCSU (UH-Hilo). More details are available online. Pacific Basin Information Node (PBIN) National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII)

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The source material for the content of this page was provided by the OISC and edited by HEAR . Image credits: The Pennisetum setaceum image is a copyrighted image provided by Gerald D. Carr (PIER). The Oahu range map is from OISC. This page was created on 05 June 2003 by PT, and was last updated on 27 March 2007 by LF. Valid HTML 4.01!