Cenchrus macrourus (Trin.) Morrone

African Feather-grass

Ann. Bot. 106: 127 (2010) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Naturalised

Robust, rhizomatous perennial. Culms erect, to 180 cm high. Leaf-blades flat or inrolled, to 50 cm long and 12 mm wide, glabrous, or with a few hairs near base, scabrous on margins and near apex; sheaths usually sparsely hairy; ligules c. 1.5 mm long. Inflorescence a dense cylindric panicle 8–30 cm long; spikelets 1–4 per branch, each subtended by an involucre 10–15 mm long, of scabrous bristles, the uppermost of which is longer and thicker than the rest. Spikelets lanceolate, 3–6 mm long; lower glume vestigial (to 1 mm long) or lacking; upper glume ovate, c. 1 mm long, hyaline; lower floret sterile, its lemma as long as the spikelet, membranous, obscurely 3–5-nerved, palea absent; lemma of upper (fertile) floret equal to sterile lemma but firmer and distinctly nerved; palea subequal to lemma. Flowers Oct.–Apr.

*DunT, *GipP, *Glep, *Gold, *HSF, *Strz, *VVP. Also naturalised in WA, SA, NSW, ACT, Tas. Native to Africa and Yemen. In Victoria, largely confined to the far south-west (except for a few isolated records east of Melbourne e.g. Emerald, Cranbourne, Morewell), from Casterton where first noted in 1943, west to near the SA border at Lake Mundi.

Source: Walsh, N.G. (1994). Poaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 2, Ferns and Allied Plants, Conifers and Monocotyledons. Inkata Press, Melbourne (as Pennisetum macrourum Trin.).
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2018-11-13
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Lilianae
order Poales
family Poaceae
genus Cenchrus L.
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <http://avh.chah.org.au>. Find Cenchrus macrourus in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Cenchrus macrourus in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Glenelg Plain present naturalised
Victorian Volcanic Plain present naturalised
Gippsland Plain present naturalised
Goldfields present naturalised
Dundas Tablelands present naturalised
Highlands-Southern Fall present introduced
Strzelecki Ranges present naturalised

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory