Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Pennisetum villosum
R.Br., Poaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results:  High risk, score: 24 (Go to the risk assessment)

Other Latin names:  Cenchrus longisetus M. C. Johnst.; Cenchrus villosus (R. Br. ex Fresen) Kuntze

Common name(s): [more details]

English: feathertop, long-style feather grass, white foxtail

Habit:  grass

Description:  "Habit: Perennial; mat forming. Rhizomes elongated. Culms geniculately ascending, or decumbent; 15-90 cm long. Ligule a fringe of hairs. Leaf-blades flat, or conduplicate; 7-15 cm long; 2-6 mm wide. Inflorescence a panicle. Panicle spiciform; oblong, or ovate, or globose; 2-12 cm long; 1-2 cm wide. Primary panicle branches accrescent to a central axis; with lateral stumps on axis. Panicle axis angular; smooth; pilose; bearing deciduous spikelet clusters. Spikelets subtended by an involucre. Fertile spikelets sessile; 1(-4) in the cluster. Involucre composed of bristles; cuneate; 40-70 mm long; base bluntly stipitate (1mm). Involucral bristles deciduous with the fertile spikelets; numerous; with longest bristle scarcely emergent; 40-70 mm long; terete; flexible; plumose. Spikelets comprising 1 basal sterile florets; 1 fertile florets; without rhachilla extension. Spikelets lanceolate; dorsally compressed; cuspidate; 9-14 mm long; falling entire; deciduous with accessory branch structures. Glumes one the lower absent or obscure, or two; dissimilar; shorter than spikelet; thinner than fertile lemma. Lower glume oblate; 0.5-1 mm long; 0.05-0.1 times length of spikelet; membranous; without keels; 0-1 -veined. Lower glume lateral veins absent. Lower glume apex obtuse. Upper glume lanceolate, or ovate; 3.5-6 mm long; 0.33-0.5 times length of spikelet; membranous; without keels; 1-3 -veined. Upper glume apex acute, or acuminate. Florets: Basal sterile florets male, or barren; with palea, or without significant palea. Lemma of lower sterile floret ovate; 1 times length of spikelet; membranous; 7-11 -veined; scaberulous; rough on veins; acute, or acuminate. Fertile lemma lanceolate; 9-14 mm long; membranous; without keel; 5-7 -veined. Lemma margins flat. Lemma apex acute. Palea membranous. Flower: Lodicules absent. Anthers 3; 4-5 mm long; anther tip apiculate. Styles 4 mm long; connate below; 1 of their length connate"  (GrassBase).

Habitat/ecology:  (no habitat/ecology info known by PIER)

Propagation:  Seed

Native range:  Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia and Yemen; cultivated and naturalized elsewhere (GRIN).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawai‘i (Big) Island introduced
invasive
Herbst, Derral R./Clayton, W. D. (1998) (p. 33)
Documented by a single voucher in BISH (Vredenberg s.n. BISH 120181) dated 1938; present status unknown.
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Australia
Australia (continental)
Australia (continental)   Hafliger, Ernst/Scholz, Hildemar (1980) (p. 117)
Chile (continental)
Chile
Chile (Republic of)   Hafliger, Ernst/Scholz, Hildemar (1980) (p. 117)
Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia (Republic of)   Hafliger, Ernst/Scholz, Hildemar (1980) (p. 117)
New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand (country) introduced
invasive
Edgar, E./Connor, H. (2000) (p. 578)
"Roadsides, pasture, coastal waste land, shingle banks, gravel bars, grassy street berms, lawns".


Need more info? Have questions? Comments? Information to contribute? Contact PIER! (pier@hear.org)

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This page was created on 12 FEB 2007 and was last updated on 30 NOV 2008.