Site Search
Customer Login
Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Hameln' (Dwarf fountain grass)

Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Hameln'

Dwarf fountain grass

A compact growth habit and finely textured foliage make this one of the most popular Pennisetum cultivars. Tidy tufts of foliage are topped in late summer with fuzzy cream-colored blooms. A trouble-free and reliable garden plant.

Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Hameln' - 50 per flat $56.65
Add to My North Creek Nurseries Wish List


2 Feet


18-24 Inches

Bloom Color


USDA Hardiness Zone 5-9

Dwarf fountain grass Interesting Notes

Small garden spaces lend themselves well to Dwarf Fountain Grass. Plants grow 2' tall and are clump-forming. In late summer buff-colored flower heads pop up in profusion on 1' spikes. The graceful fountain-like plumes slowly change color from buff to soft pinks and light-colored maroons. One to three plants are effective in small gardens as an accent, and in larger areas, mass plantings are stunning. Adds structure to the winter garden as well as seed for birds. Niche Gardens

Pennisetum translates as "feather bristle", referring to the bristly structures surrounding the flowers on the inflorescence. alopecuroides translates as "like Alopecurus", a type of grass found in Europe that has an inflorescence like a fox's tail.

Pennisetum alopecuroides is known as an ornamental grass often used for its radiating, fine-textured effect in the landscape, especially beautiful when the late Summer breezes sway its bottlebrush-like inflorescences, but not noted for its Winter appeal due to seed head shattering. Ohio State

Dwarf fountain grass is one of those plants that maintains a distinct yet subtle presence wherever it's used.

Foliage emerges fairly early for an ornamental grass but does not significantly expand until consistently warm weather hits. Medium-green foliage turns shades of yellow, chartreuse and amber in late summer before frost; after frosts and freezes, it matures to light tan.

Flowers emerge lime-green in early September, rapidly changing to a blend of green, pink and violet before maturing to light tan fruits (grains),in late August through mid-September. After a few freezes, flowers will be fully shattered.

Dwarf fountain grass prefers full sun in evenly moist, well-drained soils, but will adapt to poor soils with occasional drought. Siting in partial shade will result in decreased vigor and virtually no flowering.

Occasional deep watering is needed during drought to keep foliage from rolling and twisting; it is common to see tips turn brown during drought. Shear dead portions back to 3 inches above ground by late March (use gloves when handling the serrated foliage) to allow new growth to emerge.

Plants can be propagated reliably by dividing the clump (preferably in spring) or by sowing seeds, although cultivars may bear seed that is not true to form.

Dwarf fountain grass works well in mass plantings or as an individual contrast plant. When mass planting, leave at least 3 feet between plants.

Like many of the grasses, there are virtually no disease or pest problems.

'Hameln.' This is the standard in the nursery trade due to its compact habit (dwarf, to 2 feet high and wide). It flowers about two weeks earlier than the species. 'Hameln' is a Michigan Nursery and Landscape Association Growers Choice Award selection for 2000.

Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Hameln' Growing and Maintenance Tips

P. alopecuroides occurs in open lowlands and grasslands throughout eastern Asia. Somewhat drought tolerant once established, but prefers consistent moisture with good drainage in a range of soils in full to partial sun. Tolerates wind and salt spray. Propagate by division in spring. Cut back in early spring to promote new flush of growth. Most effective in masses, in containers or as groundcover or accent in perennial borders.

Key Characteristics & Attributes

Deer Resistant
Deer Resistant
Full Sun
Full Sun
Part Sun
Part Sun
Drought Tolerant
Drought Tolerant
Cut Flower
Cut Flower

Additional Information

Soil Moisture Needs
Propagation Type
Grass Type: Warm Season
Moist Sun