Invasive Alien Species

Species Name: Pennisetum purpureum

Family Name:
Poaceae/Graminae
Synonym:
Pennisetum macrostachyum Benth.
Origin:
Tropical Africa
Description:
A large perennial; 3.0 m tall or more. Stem tufted, nodes hairless.  Leaves up to 50 cm x 2-3 cm, leaf-blade hairy, rough on margins; ligule a ridge of dense hairs; blade junction with sheath hairy. Flower a long, narrow yellowish and bristly; spikelets narrow and pointed, in groups of 1-3, male spikelets surrounded by a ring of slender bristles, one of which is larger and stouter than the rest; the whole group of the spikelets and bristles fall off together. Seed ellipsoid, compressed.
Invaded Habitat:
In open damp situations and waste places; also found in dry land field crops and plantation crops. The aggressive and competitive growth of this grass, it takes over waste-lands and cultivated lands.
Distribution:
Throughout Indonesia.
Ecology:
This grass spreads mainly by vegetative growth and is found in a wide range of habitats.  Where invasive, it forms dense reeds 3 m tall or more in moist and rich soils, displacing native vegetation and preventing any regeneration of native plants.  The grass persist due to a deep root system.  Seeds are rarely produced.  Established plants are drought and fire tolerant, and vigorously re-sprout if cut.
References:
  1. Backer , C. A. & R. C. Bakhuizen Van Den Brink.  1965.  Flora of Java. N.V. P. Noordhoff. Groningen, Netherlands
  2. Barnes D.E. & L. G. Chan. 1990. Common Weeds of Malaysia and their control. Ancom Berhad. Persiaran Selangor. 40000 Shah Alam, Malaysia
  3. Weber, E.  2003.  Invasive Plant Species of the World.  A Reference Guide to Environmental Weeds.  CAB International Publishing.  548 pages