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 sphacelatum

HABIT Perennial; caespitose. Culms erect; 30–150 cm long. Ligule a fringe of hairs. Leaf-blades convolute; 10–35 cm long; 2–4 mm wide; coriaceous; stiff.

INFLORESCENCE Inflorescence a panicle. Peduncle pubescent above, or pilose above.

Panicle spiciform; linear; 4–12 cm long. Primary panicle branches accrescent to a central axis; with lateral stumps 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; 4–14 mm long; base obconical. Involucral bristles deciduous with the fertile spikelets; numerous; with longest bristle scarcely emergent; 4–14 mm long; terete; flexible; glabrous, or plumose.

FERTILE SPIKELETS Spikelets comprising 1 basal sterile florets; 1 fertile florets; without rhachilla extension. Spikelets lanceolate; dorsally compressed; cuspidate, or acuminate; 2.5–4.5 mm long; falling entire; deciduous with accessory branch structures.

GLUMES Glumes dissimilar; shorter than spikelet; thinner than fertile lemma. Lower glume lanceolate, or elliptic; 0.1–0.5 length of spikelet; hyaline; without keels; 0–1 -veined. Lower glume lateral veins absent. Lower glume apex obtuse, or acute. Upper glume elliptic, or ovate; (0.15–)0.33–0.66(–0.75) length of spikelet; membranous; without keels; 1–3 -veined. Upper glume apex acute, or acuminate.

FLORETS Basal sterile florets barren; without significant palea. Lemma of lower sterile floret lanceolate; 0.8–1 length of spikelet; membranous; 3–5 -veined; scaberulous; rough above; acute, or setaceously attenuate. Fertile lemma elliptic; 2.5–4.5 mm long; membranous; without keel; 5 -veined. Lemma margins flat. Lemma apex acute, or acuminate; mucronate. Palea membranous.

FLOWER Lodicules 2. Anthers 3; 2–2.5 mm long; anther tip smooth. Styles free to the base.

DISTRIBUTION Africa: northeast tropical, east tropical, southern tropical, and south.

NOTES Paniceae. FTEA.

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