Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Pennisetum purpureum Schumach., 1827

Kingdom:Plantae
Phylum/Division:Magnoliophyta
Class:Monocots
Order:Poales
Family:Poaceae
Genus:Pennisetum
Species:P. purpureum
Common Names:Elephant Grass, Napier Grass
Status:Naturalised

Description

The culms are tufted, erect and 100-400 cm tall. The leaves are linear, sometimes broadly so and 27-75 x 1-3 cm. The smooth to hairy leaf sheaths are 9-16 cm long. The inflorescence is an erect, bristly, terminal spike, 15-30 cm long and golden yellow-brown. The central stalk is smooth to inconspicuously ridged and densely hairy. The spikelets are in clusters of 1-3, surrounded by an involucre of bristles 1.9 cm long and with 2 florets. The lower floret is male or sterile, the upper bisexual.

Read more about the Poales order.
Read more about the Poaceae family.

Distribution

Native to Africa, now pantropical.

Locality Map

General Biology

This grass grows in partly shaded areas, generally on clayey soil.

References

Duistermaat, H., 2005. Field guide to the grasses of Singapore (Excluding the bamboos). Gardens’ Bulletin Singapore Supplement 57. 176 pp. 

Gilliland, H. B., 1971. A revised floras of Malaya. Vol. III Grasses of Malaya. Botanic Gardens Singapore. 319 pp.

Henderson, M. R., 1954. Malayan wild flowers - Monocotyledons. Malayan Nature Society, Kuala Lumpur. 357 pp.

Keng, H., S. C. Chin & H. T. W. Tan, 1990. The concise flora of Singapore Vol. II: Monocotyledons. Singapore University Press & National Parks Board. 215 pp.

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