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Descriptions

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

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

Pennisetum alopecuroides

HABIT Perennial; caespitose. Rootstock evident. Basal innovations intravaginal. Culms erect; 60–100 cm long. Culm-internodes smooth, or scaberulous. Culm-nodes glabrous. Leaves mostly basal. Leaf-sheaths keeled; glabrous on surface. Ligule a fringe of hairs; 0.5–0.75 mm long. Leaf-blades erect, or drooping; flat, or conduplicate, or involute; 10–45 cm long; 3–6 mm wide. Leaf-blade apex attenuate.

INFLORESCENCE Inflorescence a panicle. Peduncle hirsute above.

Panicle spiciform; linear; 7–20 cm long; 1–1.5 cm wide. Primary panicle branches accrescent to a central axis; with sessile scars on axis. Panicle axis angular; villous; bearing deciduous spikelet clusters.

Spikelets subtended by an involucre. Fertile spikelets sessile; 1–2 in the cluster. Involucre composed of bristles; 15–30 mm long; base bluntly stipitate; base 1–4 mm long; base pubescent. Involucral bristles deciduous with the fertile spikelets; numerous; with an outer whorl of thinner bristles; inner bristles longer than outer; 15–30 mm long; terete; flexible; glabrous, or ciliate.

FERTILE SPIKELETS Spikelets comprising 1 basal sterile florets; 1 fertile florets; without rhachilla extension. Spikelets lanceolate; subterete; 6–8 mm long; falling entire; deciduous with accessory branch structures.

GLUMES Glumes dissimilar; shorter than spikelet; thinner than fertile lemma. Lower glume orbicular; 1–1.25 mm long; 0.15 length of spikelet; hyaline; without keels; 0 -veined. Lower glume lateral veins absent. Lower glume apex obtuse. Upper glume oblong; 0.33–0.5 length of spikelet; membranous; without keels; 5–7 -veined. Upper glume lateral veins obscure. Upper glume apex obtuse, or acute.

FLORETS Basal sterile florets barren; without significant palea. Lemma of lower sterile floret elliptic; 1 length of spikelet; chartaceous; 7 -veined; obtuse, or acute. Fertile lemma lanceolate; 6–8 mm long; chartaceous; without keel; 5–7 -veined. Lemma margins flat. Lemma apex acute. Palea chartaceous.

FLOWER Anthers 3; 3.75–4 mm long; anther tip apiculate. Styles free to the base, or connate below.

FRUIT Caryopsis with adherent pericarp; oblong; 2.5–3 mm long. Embryo 0.5 length of caryopsis.

DISTRIBUTION Asia-temperate: Caucasus, China, and eastern Asia. Asia-tropical: India, Indo-China, and Malesia. Australasia: Australia and New Zealand.

NOTES Paniceae. Fl NSW 1993.

Please cite this publication as detailed in How to Cite Version: 27th January 2014.