• 20949 US Highway 17 N Hampstead, NC 28443

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ornamental grass

Princess Caroline Fountain Grass

Pennisetum purpureum 'Princess Caroline'

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Princess Caroline Fountain Grass (Pennisetum purpureum 'Princess Caroline') at Pender Pines Garden Center

Princess Caroline Fountain Grass

Princess Caroline Fountain Grass

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Princess Caroline Fountain Grass (Pennisetum purpureum 'Princess Caroline') at Pender Pines Garden Center

Princess Caroline Fountain Grass foliage

Princess Caroline Fountain Grass foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  4 feet

Spread:  5 feet

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  7b

Other Names:  Purple Fountain Grass, Elephant Grass


A durable ornamental grass grown for its burgundy-green foliage that intensifies to deep purple in late summer, eventually forming a gracefully arching mound; primarily grown for foliage, and will not flower in frost areas; ideal for massing or containers

Ornamental Features

Princess Caroline Fountain Grass is primarily valued in the landscape or garden for its cascading habit of growth. It attractive grassy leaves are burgundy in color with pointy deep purple spines. As an added bonus, the foliage turns a gorgeous deep purple in the fall.

Landscape Attributes

Princess Caroline Fountain Grass is an herbaceous perennial grass with a shapely form and gracefully arching stems. It brings an extremely fine and delicate texture to the garden composition and should be used to full effect.

This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and is best cleaned up in early spring before it resumes active growth for the season. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Princess Caroline Fountain Grass is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • Rock/Alpine Gardens
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Princess Caroline Fountain Grass will grow to be about 4 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 5 feet. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years. As an herbaceous perennial, this plant will usually die back to the crown each winter, and will regrow from the base each spring. Be careful not to disturb the crown in late winter when it may not be readily seen!

This plant should only be grown in full sunlight. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist growing conditions, but will not tolerate any standing water. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for a low-water garden or xeriscape application. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America. It can be propagated by division; however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.

Princess Caroline Fountain Grass is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. Because of its height, it is often used as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. It is even sizeable enough that it can be grown alone in a suitable container. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Accent  Massing  Rock  Garden  Container 
Foliage Color  Fall Color  Texture  Plant Form  Winter Value 
Ornamental Features

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