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 trachyphyllum

HABIT Perennial. Culms decumbent, or rambling; 60–200 cm long; rooting from lower nodes. Culm-nodes black. Ligule a fringe of hairs. Leaf-blades linear, or lanceolate; 10–45 cm long; 8–30 mm wide; membranous.

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

Panicle spiciform; linear; 10–25 cm long. Primary panicle branches accrescent to a central axis; with sessile scars on axis. Panicle axis with rounded ribs; scaberulous; glabrous; bearing deciduous spikelet clusters.

Spikelets subtended by an involucre. Fertile spikelets sessile; 1–3 in the cluster. Involucre composed of bristles; oblong; 5–9 mm long; base obtuse, or bluntly stipitate (indistinctly). Involucral bristles deciduous with the fertile spikelets; numerous; 15–30 in principal whorl; with one conspicuously longer bristle; 10–30 mm long; terete; flexible; glabrous.

FERTILE SPIKELETS Spikelets comprising 1 basal sterile florets; 1 fertile florets; without rhachilla extension. Spikelets lanceolate; dorsally compressed; acute, or acuminate; 4–7 mm long; falling entire; deciduous with accessory branch structures.

GLUMES Glumes dissimilar; shorter than spikelet; thinner than fertile lemma. Lower glume lanceolate; 0.1–0.25 length of spikelet; hyaline; without keels; 1 -veined. Lower glume lateral veins absent. Lower glume apex acute. Upper glume oblong; 0.25–0.5 length of spikelet; membranous; without keels; 3–5 -veined. Upper glume apex acuminate.

FLORETS Basal sterile florets male, or barren; with palea, or without significant palea. Lemma of lower sterile floret ovate; 1 length of spikelet; membranous; 5–7 -veined; scaberulous; acuminate. Palea of lower sterile floret scabrous; adorned on keels. Fertile lemma ovate; 4–7 mm long; chartaceous; without keel; 5 -veined. Lemma surface scaberulous. Lemma margins flat. Lemma apex acute, or acuminate. Palea chartaceous.

FLOWER Lodicules absent. Anthers 3; 2–3 mm long; anther tip smooth.

FRUIT Caryopsis with adherent pericarp; oblong; dorsally compressed; 2.5 mm long.

DISTRIBUTION Africa: west-central tropical, northeast tropical, and east tropical.

NOTES Paniceae. FTEA.

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