Invasive Alien Species

Species Name: Pennisetum polystachyon

Family Name:
Poaceae/ Gramineae
Tropical Africa
Tuft grass, erect, simple or branched, 0.50-1.90 m tall, nodes hairless. Stem thin, soft, much banched, tufted in dense stands. Leaves linear up to 60 cm x 5-18 mm, sheath half the node length, base rounded and margin rough. Inflorescence terminal, yellowish brown, spike like panicle, 5-25 cm x 1.3-2.6 cm , composed of sessile unit of 1-4 spikelets; bristles free, unequal, the longest 2-5 cm, the shortest 1 cm, all part feathery, spikelet sessile, solitary, narrowly ovate elliptic, 5 mm long.  Caryopsis ellipsoid, compressed.
Invaded Habitat:
 Waste places, road sides, upland rice fields,  rubber and tea  plantations.  It is become troublesome weed when it takes over waste and cultivated lands.
P. polystachion  was first observed by scientists from the Bogor Research Institute for Plantations Crops in in plantations at Subang, Purwakarta and Pondok Gede, Bogor in 1972. It is now widely distributed throughout Indonesia.

It is found at altitudes up to  900 m above sea level
The re-growth can occur from dormant buds located at the “basal bulb” area and from the aerial nodes of the stems.The dormant bud bank preserves the weed against drastic cultural and chemical control and against un-favorable climatic conditions.
The seeds are wind-dispersed and have a resilient ability to survive drought and certain cultural and chemical control methods.

  1. Kraseasindhu, P., P. Wanicharantakul & C. Harrechote.  1988.  control of Pennisetum setosum with herbicides at different time after cutting in oil palm Plantation.  Proc. 2nd Tropical Weed Conference, Phuket, Thailand
  2. Lee, S.A.  1988.  Weed to watch:  Pennisetum polystachion.  MACA Newsletter vol 1 (2): 11-12.
  3. Sastroutomo, S.S. and E.T. Pandegirot.  1988.  Survai Ekologis Gulma di Perkebunan Teh Ciliwung, Jawa Barat.  Dalam Prosiding Konferensi HIGI IX.
  4. Soedarsan, J. and J. Amri.  1975.  Beberapa catatan tentang Pennisetum polystachion (L.) Schult., sejenis tumbuhan pengganggu di perkebunan.  Menara Perkebunan 43 (2): 105-107.
  5. Soerjani, M.,  A. J. G. H. Kostermans & Gembong Tjitrosoepomo (Eds.).  1987.  Weeds of Rice in Indonesia. Balai Pustaka. Jakarta
  6. Tjitrosoedirdjo, S.S.  1990.  Pennisetum polystachion (L.) Schult.  Weed Info Sheet.  SEAWIC SEAMEO BIOTROP.  Bogor, Indonesia.