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Taiwan Gramineae | Family List | Poaceae

Pennisetum Rich.


Pennisetum purpureum

Credit: CC Hsu

Annuals or perennials; culms solid, erect or ascending, sometimes creeping. Ligule short, glabrous or ciliate; blades linear, narrow or wide, flat conduplicate or inrolled, with scabrid margins. Inflorescence a spike-like panicle, composed of spiculate units, arranged on all sides of an elongated central axis, rarely consisting of 2-4-spikelets and remaining partly or totally encloseed in upper-most leaf; units consisting of 1-4-spikelets inside an involucre, consisting of bristles, unites sessile or stipitate, falling off as a whole; bristles free, unequal, scabrid or feathery. Spikelets terete, ovate-lanceolate, 2-flowered; glumes and lemma thin and hyaline, glabrous or hairy; lower glume small, 0-3-veined; upper glume larger, 1-3-veined; upper palea 2-veined, thin or 0; lower lemma slightly shorter than spikelet, or sometimes as long, with broadly incurved margins, 3-8-veined; lower palea present or 0; upper lemma reaching apex of spikelet, with broaldy incurved margins, 4-7-veined; upper palea 2-veined, thin or less thin; lodicules absent; stamens 3, anthers linear with glabrous or penicillate tip, styles connate, stigma long, exserted apically, straight; flower protogynous. Caryopsis free, enclosed inside indurate or nonindurated upper lemma and upper palea, dorsally compressed, elliptic, pear shaped or obovate; hilum punctiform, embryo large.

About 80 species throughou the tropics. Four species in Taiwan.


1 Culms stoloniferous; inflorescence nearly enclosed in upper sheaths when flowering   Pennisetum clandestinum
+ Culms not stoloniferous; inflorescence exserted.   (2)
2 (1) Lemma dimorphic, inner bristles densely silky-plumose at base   Pennisetum polystachion
+ Lemma monomorphic; inner bristles not plumose.   (3)
3 (2) Spikelets with 2-3mm long pedicel; anthers without a tuft of hairs at one end   Pennisetum alopecuroides
+ Spikelets sessile; anthers with a tuft of hairs at one end   Pennisetum purpureum

Lower Taxa

Related Synonym(s):


Related Objects  

Flora of China  
  • Pennisetum.pdf
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