GrassBase - The Online World Grass Flora


W.D. Clayton, M. Vorontsova, K.T. Harman & H. Williamson

© Copyright The Board of Trustees, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Cenchrus pennisetiformis

HABIT Annual, or perennial; short-lived. Culms geniculately ascending; 10–40 cm long. Ligule a fringe of hairs. Leaf-blades flat; 2–20 cm long; 2–5 mm wide.

INFLORESCENCE Inflorescence a panicle.

Panicle spiciform; linear to oblong; 2–6 cm long. Primary panicle branches accrescent to a central axis; with sessile scars on axis. Panicle axis angular; scaberulous; bearing deciduous spikelet clusters.

Spikelets subtended by an involucre. Fertile spikelets sessile; 1–3 in the cluster. Involucre composed of bristles; connate into a cup below; with 1–2.5 mm connate; 6–12 mm long; base obconical. Involucral bristles deciduous with the fertile spikelets; numerous; with an outer whorl of thinner bristles; inner bristles longer than outer; with one conspicuously longer bristle; 8–16 mm long; flattened; without grooves, or grooved on the face; flexible (often wavy); antrorsely scaberulous; glabrous, or ciliate.

FERTILE SPIKELETS Spikelets comprising 1 basal sterile florets; 1 fertile florets; without rhachilla extension. Spikelets lanceolate, or ovate; dorsally compressed; acute; 3–5 mm long; falling entire; deciduous with accessory branch structures.

GLUMES Glumes one the lower absent or obscure, or two; similar; shorter than spikelet; thinner than fertile lemma. Lower glume lanceolate, or ovate; 2–3 mm long; 0.5–0.66 length of spikelet; membranous; without keels; 1 -veined. Lower glume lateral veins absent. Lower glume surface puberulous. Lower glume apex obtuse, or acute. Upper glume lanceolate, or ovate; 2–3.5 mm long; 0.66 length of spikelet; membranous; without keels; 1–3 -veined. Upper glume surface puberulous. Upper glume apex obtuse, or acute.

FLORETS Basal sterile florets male, or barren; with palea. Lemma of lower sterile floret oblong; 1 length of fertile lemma; membranous; 5 -veined; puberulous; obtuse, or acute. Fertile lemma elliptic; dorsally compressed; 3–5 mm long; chartaceous; without keel; 5 -veined. Lemma surface asperulous. Lemma margins covering most of palea. Lemma apex acute; mucronate. Palea 1 length of lemma; chartaceous; 2 -veined.

FLOWER Anthers 3; 3 mm long.

FRUIT Caryopsis with adherent pericarp; obovoid; dorsally compressed; 1.5–2 mm long; truncate.

DISTRIBUTION Africa: north, west tropical, northeast tropical, and east tropical. Asia-temperate: western Asia and Arabia. Asia-tropical: India. Australasia: Australia.

NOTES Paniceae. FTEA.

Please cite this publication as detailed in How to Cite Version: 3rd February 2016.