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Cenchrus americanus 'Purple Majesty'

Family Name: Poaceae (Gramineae)
Synonyms: Panicum glaucum, Pennisetum glaucum 'Purple Majesty'
Full Sun: 6-8h Moderate Water Bird-Attracting Butterfly Food Plant Ornamental Flowers Ornamental Foliage Dry Soils / Drought Grass & Grass-like Plant Woody


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Infraspecific Epithet
Name Status (botanical)

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants)
Plant Growth Form Shrub, Grass & Grass-like Plant

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form A pearl millet cultivar which grows in clumps, up to 1.5 m tall with showy inflorescence and foliage. 
Foliage Foliage has red midrib, leaf blade is green at first and matures into deep purple colour.
Flowers Inflorescence is cat-like raceme, and purple-brown in colour. 
Cultivation Grows well under full sun, with well drained soil. Sunny area intensifies the purple pigment. 
Etymology The genus term Pennisetum means feathery-bristle, which refers to the inflorescence. The specific epithet glaucum means whitish bloom, which refers to the seed heads. 

Landscaping Features

Landscaping Suitable to be grown as a container specimen and in mixed borders as its foliage give beautiful contrast with other plants.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Foliage, Ornamental Flowers
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Dry Soils / Drought, Well-Drained Soils
Landscape Uses General, Parks & Gardens, Flowerbed / Border, Container Planting

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Bird Attracting (Seeds), Butterfly Food Plant
Pollination Method(s) Abiotic
Seed or Spore Dispersal Abiotic

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Propagation Method Seed


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Purple
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 3.5 (Shrub & Groundcover - Monocot)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower Colour(s) Purple
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Inflorescence Type Raceme

Image Repository



Master ID 1019
Species ID 2313
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 14 October 2021.