Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Little Bunny'
Common Name: fountain grass 
Type: Ornamental grass
Family: Poaceae
Zone: 5 to 9
Height: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Spread: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: August to October
Bloom Description: Whitish green
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Ground Cover, Rain Garden
Flower: Showy, Good Cut, Good Dried
Attracts: Birds
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Drought, Erosion, Wet Soil, Black Walnut, Air Pollution


Easily grown in average, medium to wet soils in full sun to part shade. Best in full sun. Tolerates part shade, but may not flower in too much shade. Tolerant of drought once established. Cut foliage to the ground in late winter before new shoots appear. May be grown from seed and self-seeds in optimum growing conditions but cultivars do not come true from seed. Self-seeding can be aggressive. May not be reliably winter hardy throughout USDA Zone 5 where it is best sited in a protected location.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Pennisetum alopecuroides, commonly called fountain grass, is a warm season, clump-forming grass native to grassy hillsides, roadsides, and meadows in East Asia. Mature clumps will reach 2.5-5' tall with an equal spread. Features narrow, medium to deep green leaves (to 1/2" wide) in summer, changing to golden yellow in fall and fading to beige in late fall. Foliage usually remains attractive throughout the winter. Showy, silvery to pinkish-white, bristly, bottle brush-like flower spikes arch outward from the clump in late summer like water spraying from a fountain (hence the common name). Flower spikes turn brownish as the seeds form, and spikes usually persist until late fall or early winter before shattering. Many excellent fountain grass cultivars are available in commerce, ranging in height from 1-4' and featuring a variety of different flower colors (purples, pinks or whites) and autumn foliage.

Genus name comes from the Latin penna meaning "feather" and seta meaning "bristle" in reference to the flowers having long, feathery bristles.

Specific epithet means "resembling Alopecurus", a genus of grass commonly called foxtail grass.

'Little Bunny' is one of the smallest fountain grass cultivars growing only about 12-18 inches tall.


No serious insect or disease problems. Can self-seed aggressively.


Specimen, group or mass. Foliage and attractive flower spikes of this ornamental grass provide excellent texture, color and contrast to borders, foundations and open areas. Also grows well in moist locations such as peripheries of water gardens, ponds or streams. Suitable for use on slopes for erosion control.

'Little Bunny' is particularly at home in a rock garden setting or on a slope with other mat-forming or small perennials.