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 glaucifolium

HABIT Perennial. Cataphylls evident. Rhizomes short. Basal innovations extravaginal. Culms erect, or geniculately ascending; 60–200 cm long. Culm-nodes bearded. Lateral branches ample. Leaf-sheaths glabrous on surface. Ligule a ciliate membrane; 2–3 mm long. Leaf-blades 20–40 cm long; 2–12 mm wide; glaucous. Leaf-blade surface glabrous, or puberulous. Leaf-blade margins scaberulous.

INFLORESCENCE Synflorescence compound; scanty. Inflorescence a panicle; terminal and axillary.

Panicle spiciform; linear; 3–10 cm long; 0.5–0.6 cm wide. Primary panicle branches accrescent to a central axis; with lateral stumps on axis. Panicle axis with rounded ribs; scaberulous; glabrous; bearing deciduous spikelet clusters.

Spikelets subtended by an involucre. Fertile spikelets sessile; 1 in the cluster. Involucre composed of bristles; oblong; 6–9 mm long; base obtuse. Involucral bristles deciduous with the fertile spikelets; numerous; 25–30 in principal whorl; with one conspicuously longer bristle; 12–16 mm long; terete; flexible; glabrous.

FERTILE SPIKELETS Spikelets comprising 1 basal sterile florets; 1 fertile florets; without rhachilla extension. Spikelets elliptic, or oblong; dorsally compressed; acute; 4–5.5 mm long; falling entire; deciduous with accessory branch structures.

GLUMES Glumes dissimilar; shorter than spikelet; thinner than fertile lemma. Lower glume oblate; 0.6–1 mm long; 0.1–0.2 length of spikelet; hyaline; without keels; 0 -veined. Lower glume lateral veins absent. Lower glume apex truncate, or obtuse. Upper glume ovate; 1.5–3 mm long; 0.4–0.6 length of spikelet; membranous; without keels; 1–3 -veined. Upper glume apex obtuse, or acute.

FLORETS Basal sterile florets male; with palea. Lemma of lower sterile floret oblong; 1 length of spikelet; membranous; 5–7 -veined; scaberulous; rough above; acute. Fertile lemma oblong; 3.5–5 mm long; chartaceous; much thinner on margins; without keel; 5 -veined. Lemma margins flat. Lemma apex apiculate. Palea chartaceous.

FLOWER Lodicules absent. Anthers 3; 2.5–3 mm long; anther tip smooth. Styles free to the base.

FRUIT Caryopsis with adherent pericarp.

DISTRIBUTION Africa: northeast tropical. Asia-temperate: Arabia.

NOTES Paniceae. FTA 1993.

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