Pennisetum clandestinum

   Hochst. ex Chiov.
Family: Poaceae, Tribe: Paniceae

Pertinent Synonyms & Notes (particularly those used in California; go to GRIN for other synonyms)

Pennisetum longistylum var. clandestinum (Hochst. ex Chiov.) Leeke

Pertinent Common Names (particularly those used in California; go to GRIN for other common names)


Primary Disseminule Type

spikelet(s) subtended by involucre of bristles and sometimes a leaf sheath, caryopsis

Description (diagnostics are in brown)

Disseminule is a fascicle consisting of a deciduous cluster of 1–6 spikelets subtended by a persistent involucre of bristles in two whorls plus a primary bristle, the entire structure sometimes enclosed in a leaf sheath. Bristles 3–15 (often missing), 0.5–10.9 mm long, terete, ± straight, flexible, antrorsely barbed, glabrous or pubescent.

Spikelet lanceolate, dorsally compressed, 10–22 mm long x 0.8–1.5 mm wide, gray-green to straw-colored, consisting of a basal sterile floret (sterile lemma without significant palea), a fertile floret, and no rachilla.

Lower glume absent, or rarely both glumes absent. Upper glume ovate, shorter than spikelet (0–3.5 mm long), hyaline, thinner than fertile lemma, without keels, awns, or veins, apex obtuse.

Sterile lemma similar to fertile lemma, oblong, same length as spikelet, membranous, 8–13-veined.

Fertile lemma lanceolate, same length as spikelet, membranous, without keel, 8–12-veined, margins flat, apex acute.

Fertile palea membranous, 2–4(7)-veined.

Caryopsis loosely held by the relatively fragile bracts and may occur naked as disseminule, oblong, dorsally compressed, 2–3 mm long x 1.5–2 mm wide, dark reddish-brown, shiny, surface faintly striate, apex with a persistent short style.


Similar Species

Similar Species Comparison Chart

Risk Assessment (codes in yellow or red indicate cause for concern; assessments are current as of mid-2011; click AUQP, NZBORIC, or NZBPI for access to the most recent versions of these databases and possible assessment changes)