Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Pennisetum petiolare
(Hochst.) Chiov., Poaceae
No images for this taxon

Present on Pacific Islands?  no

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results:  High risk, score: 7 (Go to the risk assessment)

Other Latin names:  Beckeropsis petiolaris (Hochst.) Fig. & De Not.; Cenchrus petiolaris (Hochst.) Morrone; Gymnotrix petiolaris Hochst.

Common name(s): [more details]

English: petioled fountaingrass

Habit:  grass

Description:  "Annual. Culms erect; 45-120 cm long; compressible; with prop roots. Ligule a fringe of hairs. Leaf-blade base broadly rounded, or cordate; with a false petiole; petiole 2-12 cm long. Leaf-blades 10-25 cm long; 8-25 mm wide; flaccid. Leaf-blade surface glabrous, or puberulous. Leaf-blade margins scaberulous.  Synflorescence compound; scanty. Inflorescence a panicle; terminal and axillary.  Panicle spiciform; linear; 1.5-3 cm long. Primary panicle branches accrescent to a central axis; with lateral stumps on axis. Panicle axis scaberulous; glabrous.  Spikelets subtended by an involucre. Fertile spikelets sessile; 1 in the cluster.  Involucre composed of bristles; base obtuse. Involucral bristles deciduous with the fertile spikelets; in one whorl; 1 in principal whorl; 10-20 mm long; terete; flexible; glabrous. Fertile spikelets comprising 1 basal sterile florets; 1 fertile florets; without rhachilla extension. Spikelets oblong; dorsally compressed; acute; 2-3 mm long; falling entire; deciduous with accessory branch structures. Spikelet callus base truncate.  Glumes similar; shorter than spikelet; thinner than fertile lemma. Lower glume oblong; 0.1-0.5 mm long; 1 length of upper glume; 0.05-0.15 length of spikelet; hyaline; without keels; 0 -veined. Lower glume lateral veins absent. Lower glume apex obtuse. Upper glume oblong; 0.1-0.5 mm long; 0.05-0.15 length of spikelet; hyaline; without keels; 0 -veined. Upper glume primary vein absent. Upper glume lateral veins absent. Upper glume apex emarginate.  Basal sterile florets barren; without significant palea. Lemma of lower sterile floret elliptic; 1 length of spikelet; membranous; 5 -veined; smooth, or scaberulous; acute. Fertile lemma elliptic; 2-3 mm long; cartilaginous; without keel; 5 -veined. Lemma surface smooth, or scaberulous. Lemma margins flat. Lemma apex acute. Palea cartilaginous" (GrassBase).

Habitat/ecology:  (no habitat/ecology info known by PIER)

Propagation:  Seed

Native range:  Northeast tropical Africa (GrassBase).


Also reported from
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
United States (other states) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)

Control:  If you know of control methods for Pennisetum petiolare, please let us know.

Need more info? Have questions? Comments? Information to contribute? Contact PIER! (

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This page was created on 26 NOV 2008 and was last updated on 6 DEC 2008.