• Sunset at Lake Mead's Boulder Basin

    Lake Mead

    National Recreation Area AZ,NV

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  • Important Notice to Mariners

    Lake Mead water elevations will be declining throughout the summer. Before launching, check lake levels, launch ramp conditions, changes to Aids to Navigation and weather conditions by clicking on More »

  • Areas of Park Impacted by Storm Damage

    Strong storms rolled through Lake Mead National Recreation Area Aug. 3-4, causing damage to some areas of the park. Crews are working to restore the below locations. Debris may be present in other areas of the park, as well, especially in the backcountry. More »

  • Goldstrike Canyon, Arizona Hot Spring Trails Temporarily Closed

    A temporary emergency closure is in place for Goldstrike Canyon and Arizona Hot Spring trails within Lake Mead National Recreation Area, through Sept. 11. This closure includes National Park Service and Bureau of Reclamation lands. More »

  • Summer Fire Rules in Effect

    Lake Mead NRA is now enforcing summer fire restrictions. Please click 'more' to learn about the rules for fire during our hot, dry season. More »


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Fountaingrass is a perennial bunch grass native to Northern Africa. It has been extensively used as an ornamental landscape plant in other parts of the world. Pennisetum setaceum is a highly invasive plant that has displaced native vegetation in Hawaii, California, Arizona and Nevada.


Fountaingrass has invaded approximately a 12 nautical-mile reach of the Colorado River along the shore of Lake Mohave. Fountaingrass not only out-competes native vegetation, but it is fire adapted and will carry fire into desert vegetation that are not evolved to cope with the frequency of fire that Fountaingrass will bring. This plant has a seed bank life reported to be 7 years in a field setting, so once it gets established, it may be very difficult to get rid of.


Fountaingrass is a dense bunch grass that at maturity is approximately 1 meter tall. The blades on this grass will feel rough or sharp when you run your fingers along its margins.

The best identifying characteristic will be the flowering tops. The flowering tops have a fluffy, "bottle-brush" like appearance. These "bottle-brushes" are many small and light seeds that are well adapted for wind dispersal. Pennisetum setaceum has a very similar appearance to one of our native bunch grasses, Purple three-awn, Aristida purpurea. Don't be confused; Purple three-awn won't have the "bottle-brush" flowering heads. Aristida purpurea is also softer and smoother if you run you fingers along its blade margins.

Did You Know?

Hoover Dam In Take Towers

Lake Mead was named in honor of Dr. Elwood Mead. As Commissioner of Reclamation from 1924 - 1936, he drafted new specifications for a giant project that would dam the Colorado River and create the world's (at that time) largest artificial lake.