Common name: Elephant Grass
Cenchrus purpureus (Schumach.) Morrone APNI*
Synonyms: Pennisetum purpureum Schumach. APNI*
Description: Robust stoloniferous perennial forming large, bamboo-like clumps to 7.5 m high.
Leaves with ligule a densely ciliate rim of hairs; blade to 37 mm wide, often hairy towards the base.
Panicle dense, cylindrical, erect, 8–30 cm long, bristles numerous, unequal, mostly 10–16 mm long, 1 usually much longer to 40 mm. Spikelets bisexual, 1–5 per involucre, 4–7 mm long. Lower glume suppressed, or minute and nerveless; upper 0.5–1 mm long, nerveless or 1-nerved. Lower lemma male or sterile, 1–7-nerved, 10–95% as long as spikelet; palea shorter than lemma or suppressed. Upper lemma bisexual or male, as long as the spikelet, 5–7-nerved; palea shorter than the lemma.
Distribution and occurrence: Cultivated for windbreaks or forage, also a roadside weed; north from Cessnock. Native of trop. Afr.
NSW subdivisions: *NC, ?CC
Other Australian states: *Qld *W.A. *N.T.
Text by S.W.L. Jacobs & S.M. Hastings, as Pennisetum purpureum, fide Flora of NSW 4 (1993)
Taxon concept: Australian Plant Census, December 2016
APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
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