Do NOT pull or cut down the plant. OISC will properly remove and dispose of the plant to prevent spreading seeds and re-sprouting.
Please report fountain grass to OISC. Send photo and location to firstname.lastname@example.org or text 808-286-4616. You can also call our office at 266-7994.
Fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum)
Fountain grass poses a major fire threat to many of Hawaii’s natural and developed areas and has been designated a noxious weed 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.
- Medium-sized grass, grows to 1 meter (3 ft)
- Grows in clumps, with long, purple to yellow “spikes” that are the flower/seeds
- Leaves do not form flat “blades” like most leaves; they are long and round like wire
- Native to Africa, introduced to Hawaii as an ornamental.
- Grows quickly and outcompetes other plants for resources like water and space
- Poor pasture grass, degrades the quality of pasturelands, particularly in drier areas
- Fire-adapted, it can survive brush fires, where native plants cannot.
- Fire-promoting. Dry fountain grass is an excellent fuel for brush fires.
- Changes structure of dry forest (from bushes, trees to grass savannah)
- Report fountain grass to OISC by calling 286-4616 or email email@example.com
Populations occur in Lanikai and Diamond Head, and should be controlled by property owners wherever possible. OISC is working to prevent fountain grass from becoming established in the Waianae Range, which is susceptible to wild fires because of the prevalent dry conditions of the leeward coast. OISC monitors areas where fountain grass had been introduced in the past, and removes it from high traffic areas (trails, roads etc.).