Common name: Kikuyu Grass
Cenchrus clandestinus (Hochst. ex Chiov.) Morrone APNI*
Synonyms: Pennisetum clandestinum Hochst. ex Chiov. APNI*
Description: Rhizomatous and stoloniferous perennial to 0.9 m high; flowers bisexual, or unisexual and plants monoecious or dioecious.
Leaves with ligule a dense ciliate rim; blade 3–7 mm wide, glabrous or slightly hairy.
Inflorescence on short shoots mostly reduced to a cluster of 2–4 spikelets, enclosed in sheaths, terminal spikelet with up to 15 delicate bristles, the lateral with fewer. Spikelets bisexual or functionally unisexual, 10–20 mm long. Lower glume minute; upper 1–8 mm long. Lower lemma sterile, as long as the spikelet, 8–13-nerved; palea absent. Upper lemma bisexual, protogynous or functionally female with rudimentary stamens, or functionally male with rudimentary gynoecium: lemma similar to that of lower floret. Stamens in bisexual or male florets with very long, protruding filaments 2.5–5 cm long.
Distribution and occurrence: Cultivated for pasture, lawns and playing fields; a weed of gardens and roadsides. Native of trop. E Africa.
NSW subdivisions: *NC, *CC, *SC, *NT, *CT, *ST, *NWS, *CWS, *SWS, *SWP, *LHI
Other Australian states: *Qld *Vic. *Tas. *W.A. *S.A. *N.T.
Text by S.W.L. Jacobs & S.M. Hastings, as Pennisetum clandestinum, fide Flora of NSW 4 (1993)
Taxon concept: Australian Plant Census (CHAH 2011)
APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.