Scientific Name:
Cenchrus clandestinus (Hochst. ex Chiov.) Morrone in Chemisquy et al., Ann. Bot. 106: 127 (2010)
  • Pennisetum clandestinum Hochst. ex Chiov., Value cannot be null. Parameter name: s 41, pl. 5, f. 2 (1903)

Decumbent to semiscandent perennials, with creeping, cataphyll-covered rhizomes and long stolons 2.5–5.5 mm diam., rooting at nodes; when grazed or mown forming a close, compact, light green turf; plants with ☿ florets, or monoecious, or dioecious. Leaf-sheath light brown or almost white, ± membranous, usually with scattered, fine, tubercle-based hairs, rarely glabrous. Ligule 1–2 mm, a densely ciliate rim. Leaf-blade (1.5)–3–8–(25) cm × 1.5–2.5–(9) mm, at first tightly folded, later flattened, linear, gradually tapering, soft, glabrous, or with a few, fine, tubercle-based hairs, sparingly scabrid on margins and midrib near narrow subobtuse tip. Culm internodes shining, glabrous, extending as long, rooting, flattened stolons, with short to long ascending branches often closely clustered into tufts. Inflorescences borne on the short branches, usually consisting of clusters of (1)–2–4 spikelets partly or almost entirely hidden in the leaf-sheaths, very rarely a short, reduced, spike-like panicle exserted beyond uppermost leaf-sheath. Spikelets 1.5–2 mm, subsessile, or usually the terminal and sometimes the lateral spikelets pedicelled and subtended by (3)–5–15 ciliate, whitish, unequal (1.5–12 mm), finely scabrid bristles. Glumes unequal; lower 0, or sometimes a minute, nerveless scale, upper often 0, occasionally a short (3 mm), transparent, 3-nerved scale. Lower floret Ø: lemma = spikelet, 9–13-nerved, papery; palea 0. Upper floret ☿, ♂ or ♀: lemma ≈ spikelet, 9–11-nerved, papery; palea of same texture as lemma, rounded, with 2–4 smooth nerves; lodicules 0; anthers of ☿ and ♂ florets: 4–5 mm, with filaments much extended at anthesis, to c. 3 cm, and exserted from leaf-sheath giving patches of the plant a silvery appearance, of ♀ florets: 3–4 mm, on short filaments retained within spikelets; style and stigmas long-exserted from floret, 1.5–3.5 mm, stigmas connate, finely plumose, often bifid at tip; caryopsis c. 2 × 15 mm, oblong, slightly laterally compressed, brown. Plate 4B.

[From: Edgar and Connor (2000) Flora of New Zealand. Volume 5 as Pennisetum clandestinum Chiov.]

Biosecurity New Zealand 2012: Regional Pest Management Strategies Database. [as Pennisetum clandestinum Hochst. ex Chiov.]
Chemisquy, M.A.; Giussani, L.M.; Scataglini, M.A.; Kellogg, E.A.; Morrone, O. 2010: Phylogenetic studies favour the unification of Pennisetum, Cenchrus and Odontelytrum (Poaceae): a combined nuclear, plastid and morphological analysis, and nomenclatural combinations in Cenchrus. Annals of Botany 106: 107–130.
Chiovenda E. 1903: Graminaceae. In: Pirotta R, Flora della colonia Eritrea. Vol. 8. In: Annuario del Reale Istituto Botanico di Roma. 21–70.
Connor, H.E. 1977: The Poisonous Plants in New Zealand. Edition 2. Government Printer, Wellington. [as Pennisetum clandestinum Hochst. ex Chiov.]
Howell, C. 2008: Consolidated list of environmental weeds in New Zealand. DOC Research & Development Series 292: 42. [as Pennisetum clandestinum Hochst. ex Chiov.]
Simon, B.K. 2010: New taxa, nomenclatural changes and notes on Australian grasses in the tribe Paniceae (Poaceae: Panicoideae). Austrobaileya 8: 187–221.