Poses a major fire threat to many of Hawaii’s natural and developed areas and has been designated a noxious weed by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture.
The Division of Forestry and Wildlife of the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources has designated fountain grass as one of Hawaii’s Most Invasive Horticultural Plants.
- Medium-sized grass, grows to 1 meter (3 ft)
- Grows in clumps, with long, purple to yellow “spikes” that are the flower/seeds
- Leaves do not form flat “blades” like most leaves; they are long and round like wire
- Native to Africa introduced to Hawaii as an ornamental plant.
- Grows quickly and outcompetes other plants for resources like water and space
- Poor pasture grass, degrades the quality of pasturelands, particularly in drier areas
- Fire-adapted, it can survive brush fires, where native plants cannot
- Fire-promoting. Dry fountain grass is an excellent fuel for brush fires.
- Changes structure of dry forest (from bushes, trees to grass savannah)
The fountain grass infestation area is in sub-optimal habitat above Hanapepe and Kalaheo. Please report any sightings of this pest. KISC controls any infestations outside of the known naturalized population.