Common name: Feathertop, White Foxtail
Cenchrus longisetus M.C.Johnst. APNI*
Synonyms: Pennisetum villosum R.Br. ex Fresen. APNI*
Pennisetum longistylum Vilm. APNI*
Cenchrus villosus (R.Br. ex Fresen.) Kuntze APNI*
Description: Densely tufted rhizomatous perennial to 0.9 m high.
Leaves with ligule a densely ciliate rim; blade 2–6 mm wide, mostly glabrous.
Panicle spike-like, moderately dense, conspicuously plumose, 2–12 cm long, involucres erect or spreading, bristles numerous, slender, unequal, the longer 3–7 cm long. Spikelets solitary or in clusters of 2–4, 9–14 mm long, glabrous. Lower glume 0.5–1 mm long, nerveless or 1-nerved, or sometimes suppressed; upper 3.5–6 mm long, 1–3-nerved. Lower lemma male or sterile, subequal to spikelet, 7–11-nerved; palea absent or shorter than the lemma. Upper lemma bisexual, as long as spikelet, 5–7-nerved; palea as long as lemma.
Distribution and occurrence: Frequently cultivated as an ornamental grass, naturalized, often a weed of footpaths and vacant land. Native of N Afr. & Arabia.
NSW subdivisions: *CC, *SC, *NT, *CT, *ST, *NWS, *CWS, *SWS, *NWP, *SWP, *NFWP
Other Australian states: *Qld *Vic. *W.A. *S.A.
Text by S.W.L. Jacobs & S.M. Hastings, as Pennisetum villosum, 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.