Pennisetum flaccidum Griseb.
Source: Collecitons database
Family: Poaceae
Pennisetum flaccidum image
Steve Hurst  

Plants perennial; rhizomatous. Culms 50-200 cm, erect, branching, smooth or scabrous beneath the panicle; nodes shortly pubescent or glabrous. Leaves green, sometimes glaucous; sheaths glabrous, margins ciliate; ligules 1-1.5 mm; blades 34-44 cm long, 5-10 mm wide, flat, glabrous or pubescent, margins ciliate or glabrous basally. Panicles all terminal, 8-17 cm long, 12-28 mm wide, erect, white; rachises scabrous below, sometimes puberulent above. Fascicles 6-15 per cm; fascicle axes 0.6-3.1 mm, with 1-6 spikelets; outer bristles 20-60, 0.8-12.3 mm; inner bristles 3-7, 5.5-16.5 mm, flattened, neither grooved nor fused, ciliate; primary bristles 12.9-22.5 mm, ciliate, noticeably longer than the other bristles. Spikelets 5.2-6.7 mm; pedicels 0.1-0.5 mm; lower glumes 0.9-1.8 mm, 0-1-veined; upper glumes 2.6-4.2 mm, 1-5-veined; lower florets staminate; lower lemmas 5.1-6.4 mm, 5(6)-veined; lower paleas 4.5-5.3 mm; anthers 2.8-3.3 mm; upper florets not disarticulating at maturity; upper lemmas 5-5.8 mm, 5(6)-veined; upper paleas with a bifid apex, teeth 0.1-0.2 mm; anthers 2.6-3.2 mm. Caryopsesconcealed by the lemma and palea at maturity. 2n = 18, 36, 45.

Pennisetum flaccidum is native to central Asia. Although grown primarily as an ornamental, it is also used for forage in the Flora region. It is sometimes sold, incorrectly, as P. incomptum Nees ex Steud. [= P. ciliare].