Cenchrus clandestinus (Hochst. ex Chiov.) Morrone

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Cenchrus clandestinus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Ndundu Lodge, Vumba

Cenchrus clandestinus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Ndundu Lodge, Vumba

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Pennisetum clandestinum Hochst. ex Chiov.
Common names: Kikuyu grass (English)
Frequency: Local
Status: Introduced
A dense, mat-forming grass, growing from both stolons and rhizomes. It has no clearly visible inflorescences, only the white filaments and feathery stigmas may be visible (photo right).
Notes: Widely used as one of the most popular lawn grasses. It is known as a naturalised escape, particularly in high rainfall areas in the East of the country.
Derivation of specific name: clandestinus: clandestine, referring to the invisible inflorescences.
Habitat: Naturalised in grassy places
Altitude range: (metres)
Flowering time:Aug - Apr
Worldwide distribution: Native to East and Central Africa.
Zimbabwe distribution: E
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species: Melanitis leda helena (Food plant)
Gorgopis libania (Food plant)
Cnaphalocrocis trapezalis (Larval foodplant)
Aeropetes tulbaghia (Larval foodplant)
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Images last updated: Friday 8 September 2006

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 358.

Clayton, W.D. (1989). Poaceae Flora Zambesiaca 10(3) Page 179.


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Other sources of information about Cenchrus clandestinus:

Our websites:

Flora of Malawi: Cenchrus clandestinus
Flora of Zimbabwe: cultivated Cenchrus clandestinus

External websites:

African Plant Database: Cenchrus clandestinus
Biodiversity Explorer (Biodiversity of southern Africa): Cenchrus clandestinus
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Cenchrus clandestinus
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Cenchrus clandestinus
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Cenchrus clandestinus
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network) taxonomy for plants report for Cenchrus clandestinus
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Cenchrus clandestinus
Ispot Southern Africa : Cenchrus clandestinus
JSTOR Plant Science: Cenchrus clandestinus
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Cenchrus clandestinus
Kew Monocotyledon checklist: Cenchrus clandestinus
Tropicos: Cenchrus clandestinus
West African Plants database: Cenchrus clandestinus

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-16

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2016). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Cenchrus clandestinus.
http://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=107800, retrieved 22 October 2016

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