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.

Pennisetum caffrum

HABIT Perennial; caespitose; clumped densely. Culms erect; 30–50 cm long; 1 -noded. Culm-internodes distally pubescent. Lateral branches lacking. Leaves mostly basal. Leaf-sheaths glabrous on surface. Ligule a fringe of hairs. Leaf-blades convolute; 10–15 cm long; 2–3 mm wide; stiff. Leaf-blade surface ribbed; grooved adaxially; glabrous. Leaf-blade apex abruptly acute.

INFLORESCENCE Inflorescence a panicle. Peduncle pubescent above.

Panicle spiciform; linear, or oblong; straight; 6–10 cm long. Primary panicle branches accrescent to a central axis; with lateral stumps on axis. Panicle axis with rounded ribs; pubescent; bearing deciduous spikelet clusters.

Spikelets subtended by an involucre. Fertile spikelets sessile; 1 in the cluster. Involucre composed of bristles; oblong; 10–15 mm long; base obtuse; base 0.5 mm long; base pubescent. Involucral bristles deciduous with the fertile spikelets; numerous; in one whorl; with one conspicuously longer bristle; 20–40 mm long; terete; flexible; glabrous.

FERTILE SPIKELETS Spikelets comprising 1 basal sterile florets; 1 fertile florets; without rhachilla extension. Spikelets lanceolate; dorsally compressed; 4 mm long; falling entire; deciduous with accessory branch structures.

GLUMES Glumes one the lower absent or obscure; shorter than spikelet; thinner than fertile lemma. Upper glume lanceolate; 1 mm long; 0.25–0.33 length of spikelet; hyaline; without keels. Upper glume apex acute.

FLORETS Basal sterile florets barren; without significant palea. Lemma of lower sterile floret lanceolate; 4 mm long; 1 length of spikelet; membranous; 7 -veined; setaceously attenuate. Fertile lemma lanceolate; 4 mm long; chartaceous; without keel. Lemma margins flat. Lemma apex acute. Palea 2 mm long; 0.5 length of lemma; chartaceous.

FLOWER Lodicules absent. Anthers 3; 1.5 mm long; purple.

DISTRIBUTION Africa: western Indian ocean.

NOTES Paniceae. Gr Maur 1999.

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