clandestinum Hochst. ex Chiov.][PESCL][CalEPPC: need more information][CDFA
list: C][Federal Noxious Weed] Photographs
Crimson fountaingrass [Pennisetum setaceum (Forssk.) Chiov.][PESSA][CalEPPC: A-1]
[Pennisetum villosum R.Br. ex Fresen.][Bayer code:
DESCRIPTION: Warm climate perennials that have escaped
cultivation in mild coastal to warm arid areas of California.
Kikuyugrass was originally planted in California as an
erosion-controlling ground cover. Crimson fountaingrass and
feathertop are common landscape ornamentals and are grown
as annuals in cold winter areas. Both are adapted to periodic
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SEEDLINGS: No descriptions
Blades rolled in bud, folded or flat, glabrous to sparsely
short-hairy, midveins pronounced on underside. Blade margins
often minutely serrate (10x magnification). Ligules consist of
a fringe of white hairs ~ 1-2 mm long. Auricles lacking.
Collar margins densely ciliate with long white hairs. Sheaths
open, +/- creased at the center.
and UNDERGROUND STRUCTURES:
SPIKELETS/FLORETS: Below each
spikelet or small cluster of spikelets are long, flexible bristles
that disperse with spikelets. Spikelets lanceolate, consist
of a lower glume-like sterile floret and an upper fertile floret.
Lower glume reduced or lacking. Upper glume about as long as the
sterile lemma. Grains (seeds) oblong to obovoid, ~ 2-3 mm long.
sites, roadsides, urban places. These species grow best in areas
with mild winters that receive some summer moisture. Plants tolerate
periods of drought, light shade, and most soil types, but do not
survive prolonged periods of freezing temperatures.
(asexual reproduction where embryos develop without fertilization)
and to a smaller degree, out-crossing. Pollination is required
for apomictic seed development. Seeds of crimson fountaingrass
and feathertop require several months (fall through early
to mid-spring) to mature. Flower heads typically remain intact
during this period. Most seeds germinate late spring through early
summer. All utilize the C4 photosynthetic pathway and are +/-
FAVORING/DISCOURAGING SURVIVAL: Early detection and hand removal of individual
plants can help prevent the spread of these species. Discing kikuyugrass
can expand infestations by spreading rhizome and stolon fragments.
Cleaning agricultural and landscape maintenance equipment after
use in infested areas can prevent the introduction of propagules
to uninfested sites. Crimson fountaingrass and feathertop
recover quickly after fire and may increase in density after
Unlike kikuyugrass, bermudagrass has conspicuous
umbel-like flower heads, stolons typically less than 4
mm wide that are not swollen at the nodes, and
blades that lack a pronounced midvein and are typically
folded in bud. Crimson fountaingrass and feathertop
have distinct flower heads that are present (in different stages)
throughout much of the year and are unlikely to be confused with
other weedy grasses.
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