Leaves on stems. Photo: Barry Rice, California, USA

Clandestine flowers and leaves. Photo: Forest and Kim Starr, Hawaii, USA

In Hitchcock, A.S. (rev. A. Chase). 1950. Manual of the grasses of the United States. USDA Miscellaneous Publication No. 200. Washington, DC.

Common Name

Kikuyu Grass, Kikuyu




Introduced perennial grass, mat-forming and to 90cm tall.  Leaves alternating along the stems, with a sheath at the base.  Ligule a fringe of hairs.  Leaves 1-30cm long, 1-7mm wide, initially folded together lengthwise, becoming flat, hairless or hairy, with rough margins and a blunt or pointed tip.  Spikelets whitish below and greenish above, surrounded at the base by a ring of up to 15 bristles, 4-20mm long.  Flower groups short, oval, hidden within the subtending leaf sheath. Rarely sets seed. A lawn grass. Pennisetum clandestinum in NSW.

Description (as Pennisetum clandestinum)  in G.M. Cunningham, WE Mulham, PL Milthorpe and J H Leigh (1981 and later printings) Plants of Western New South Wales page 128

PlantNET description (as Pennisetum clandestinum):

ausgrass2 description with photos: