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 macrourum

HABIT Perennial. Rhizomes elongated. Culms reed-like; 60–500 cm long. Culm-nodes brown. Ligule a fringe of hairs. Leaf-blades flat, or convolute; 10–45 cm long; 2–10(–15) mm wide; coriaceous; glaucous. Leaf-blade apex filiform.

INFLORESCENCE Inflorescence a panicle. Peduncle scaberulous above; glabrous, or pubescent above.

Panicle spiciform; linear; 6–40 cm long. Primary panicle branches accrescent to a central axis; with lateral stumps on axis, or with sessile scars on axis. Panicle axis with rounded ribs; smooth; glabrous, or pubescent; bearing deciduous spikelet clusters.

Spikelets subtended by an involucre. Fertile spikelets sessile; 1 in the cluster. Involucre composed of bristles; oblong; 5–10 mm long; base obtuse. Involucral bristles deciduous with the fertile spikelets; numerous; with longest bristle scarcely emergent, or with one conspicuously longer bristle; 5–20 mm long; terete; flexible; glabrous.

FERTILE SPIKELETS Spikelets comprising 1 basal sterile florets; 1 fertile florets; without rhachilla extension. Spikelets elliptic, or ovate; dorsally compressed; cuspidate, or acuminate; 2–6 mm long; falling entire; deciduous with accessory branch structures.

GLUMES Glumes one the lower absent or obscure, or two; dissimilar; shorter than spikelet; thinner than fertile lemma. Lower glume elliptic, or oblate; 0.5–1 mm long; 0.1–0.15 length of spikelet; hyaline; without keels; 0 -veined. Lower glume lateral veins absent. Lower glume apex obtuse. Upper glume lanceolate, or oblong; 0.1–0.25 length of spikelet; membranous; without keels; 0–3 -veined. Upper glume primary vein absent, or distinct. Upper glume apex obtuse, or acute, or acuminate.

FLORETS Basal sterile florets male, or barren; with palea, or without significant palea. Lemma of lower sterile floret ovate; 0.75–1 length of spikelet; membranous; 5–9 -veined; obtuse, or acute. Fertile lemma ovate; 2–6 mm long; membranous; without keel; 5–7 -veined. Lemma surface scaberulous; rough above. Lemma margins flat. Lemma apex obtuse. Palea membranous.

FLOWER Lodicules absent. Anthers 3; 2–2.5 mm long; anther tip smooth. Styles free to the base, or connate below.

DISTRIBUTION Africa: west tropical, west-central tropical, northeast tropical, east tropical, southern tropical, south, and middle Atlantic ocean. Asia-temperate: Arabia. Australasia: Australia and New Zealand.

NOTES Paniceae. FTEA.

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