Pennisetum villosum
Photo by Flickr user Tim Waters



  • This plant has a Plant Risk Evaluator rating of High Potential Risk
  • This plant has been rated Watch by the California Invasive Plant Council


Pennisetum villosum is a clumping grass with white bottlebrush plumes, similar in appearance to other Pennisetum species. It is slightly hardier than Pennisetum setaceum, an invasive plant in California. "Under ideal conditions in warm climates it can spread by rhizomes and by seed" (Hoffman Nursery). In cooler climates it is a fast-growing annual.

It has been observed naturalizing in several counties in the San Francisco Bay area and in counties along the south coast of California. See Calflora for documented occurrences in California.

Why is this plant not included on the invasive plant list?

Pennisetum villosum was included as a candidate plant in the 2017 nursery survey. It was only found at 2 nurseries during the survey. It seems that this plant is more of a weed than a plant for ornamental use in California. Because it was found at only 0.5% of nurseries in California, it did not meet our criteria for addition to the invasive plant list. Plants must be found 3% or more of nurseries to be under discussion for addition to the list.

More information

For more information about this plant, please see the following resources: