Scientific Name:
Cenchrus latifolius (Spreng.) Morrone in Chemisquy et al., Ann. Bot. 106: 128 (2010)
  • Pennisetum latifolium Spreng. (1824)

Tall, erect, tufted, bright green, shortly rhizomatous perennials, the stout (c. 2 cm diam.), short internodes of the rhizome giving a corm-like appearance to base of culm. Leaf-sheath loosely enveloping culm, rounded, subcoriaceous, with numerous usually conspicuous cross-veinlets, lowermost sheaths with a few scattered long hairs, others glabrous. Ligule 2–5.5 mm, a membranous densely long-ciliate rim. Leaf-blade 30–50 cm × 1–3.5 mm, flat, lanceolate, tapering to long fine point, narrowed, almost pseudopetiolate at base, ribs and margins minutely scabrid. Culm c. 2–2.5 m, nodes purplish, appressed-pubescent, internodes glabrous. Panicle 17–30 cm, compound, with clusters of 3–4 long-peduncled spikes arising in axils of 3–4 short, reduced leaves. Spikes 3–6.5 cm; rachis minutely pubescent; peduncles (5)–12–25 cm, triangular-compressed, with strongly pubescent-scabrid ridges. Spikelets 6–7 mm, elliptic-lanceolate, acuminate, densely clustered and ± sessile on rachis, surrounded by involucre of numerous finely scabrid bristles, usually one stouter, » spikelet (10–17 mm), others usually < spikelet (5–7 mm). Glumes very short, hyaline, with long appressed hairs, margins long-ciliate near acute tip; lower 0.5–1 mm, upper 1–2 mm, 1-nerved. Lower floret Ø: lemma = spikelet, 5-nerved, submembranous, minutely pubescent-scabrid; palea 0. Upper floret ☿: lemma ≈ spikelet, 5–6 mm, 5-nerved, very slightly hardened, glabrous below, finely minutely pubescent-scabrid near tip; palea 4.5–5 mm, of same texture as lemma, rounded, nerves 2, glabrous; lodicules 0.4–0.7 mm; anthers 1.4–2 mm; gynoecium: ovary c. 1 mm, styles free, glabrous, c. 1.5 mm, stigmas purple, plumose, c. 2.5 mm; caryopsis 1.7–2.3 mm.

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

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.
Simon, B.K. 2010: New taxa, nomenclatural changes and notes on Australian grasses in the tribe Paniceae (Poaceae: Panicoideae). Austrobaileya 8: 187–221.