Saccharum ravennae
Weedy and Potentially Invasive: Do Not Plant
Common Name: plume grass 
Type: Ornamental grass
Family: Poaceae
Native Range: Northern Africa, Mediterranean
Zone: 5 to 9
Height: 6.00 to 12.00 feet
Spread: 4.00 to 6.00 feet
Bloom Time: September to October
Bloom Description: Purplish-bronze
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Medium
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Colorful
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Drought, Black Walnut, Air Pollution
This plant has been found to be weedy and potentially invasive and should not be planted in Midwestern gardens.


Best grown in dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Will not thrive in moist and/or fertile soils where it usually needs support. May self-seed under optimum growing conditions. Cut to the ground in late winter to early spring.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Saccharum ravennae, commonly called ravenna grass or plume grass, is a very tall, erect, ornamental grass which forms clumps which typically grow 9-12' tall and 4-6' wide. Similar in appearance to the less hardy Pampas grass. Plumes or inflorescences (to 24" long) appear in late summer on stiff, leafed stalks well above the foliage. Plumes bloom purplish-bronze turning to silver-gray in fall and persist well into winter. Narrow, 1 inch wide, gray-green leaf blades (to 30" long) with a single white stripe down the middle of each. Rustling sound of the foliage when caressed by breezes can be quite calming. Foliage turns an attractive bronze in fall. Formerly known as Erianthus ravennae.

Genus name comes from the Greek word sakcharon meaning the sweet juice of sugarcane which came from an Asiatic word, seemingly the Malay singkara.


No serious insect or disease problems. May need support if grown in moist and/or fertile soils.


Border rears, screens or accents. Excellent specimen for areas around the home or patio where height is desired.