Scientific Name:
Cenchrus longisetus M.C.Johnst. (1963)
  • = Pennisetum villosum R.Br. (1837)

Tufted perennials to c. 35 cm; branching intravaginal from a short branching rhizome to 4 mm diam.; plants sometimes stoloniferous. Leaf-sheath flattened, keeled, firmly chartaceous, mostly glabrous, occasionally with a few scattered long tubercle-based hairs. Ligule 0.7–1.5 mm, a membranous densely long-ciliate rim. Collar hairs few, long, tubercle-based. Leaf-blade 8–30 cm × 2–4 mm, rather stiff, light green or bluish green, linear, flat, or folded and 0.6–1.5 mm diam., tapering, abaxially glabrous, strongly ribbed, ribs scabrid near tip, adaxially shallowly ribbed, minutely scabrid on ribs, sometimes with a few scattered, long, tubercle-based hairs; margins scabrid, tip acute. Culm 10–30–(45) cm, erect or geniculate-ascending, simple, or branching at lower nodes, internodes softly long-hairy below inflorescence. Panicle 4–11 cm, conspicuously plumose, broadly cylindric to subglobose, ± dense, light silvery green or light brown, rarely purplish; rachis softly long-hairy. Spikelets 8–11 mm, lanceolate, acuminate, cream, sometimes purple-tipped, solitary, or in clusters of 2–4, on very short, densely soft-hairy pedicels, surrounded by a plumose involucre of many, cream, sometimes purple, unequal bristles (25–40 mm), finely scabrid throughout with long soft hairs in lower ½. Glumes membranous, unequal in size and shape; lower 0.5–1.2 mm, broad, truncate-erose, nerveless, upper 2.5–5.5 mm, narrow, tapered, 1-nerved. Lower floret ♂ or Ø: lemma 7–9.3 mm, membranous, 7–9-nerved, very minutely scabrid with longer prickle-teeth on midnerve near acute tip; palea 6–8 mm, hyaline, keels with scattered short hairs, interkeel with minute hairs near bifid apex, occasionally palea 0; anthers 3.5–4.5 mm, occasionally 0. Upper floret ☿: lemma 8.5–11 mm, membranous, 7–9-nerved, glabrous, nerves minutely prickle-toothed; palea ± rounded, keels becoming scabrid and more prominent near bifid apex, interkeel minutely scabrid; lodicules minute, or 0; anthers 3.5–4.5 mm; styles connate; caryopsis c. 2.5 mm.

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

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