Cenchrus clandestinus (Hochst. ex Chiov) Morrone


Ann. Bot. 106: 127 (2010) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Naturalised

Vigorous, long-rhizomatous and stoloniferous perennial. Stems decumbent, or occasionally ascending through vegetation, bark etc., to 3 m when supported. Leaf-blades flat or folded, to 25 (but commonly only to c. 5) cm long and 6 mm wide, glabrous or with scattered hairs; sheaths ciliate along margins, sometimes with scattered hairs over surface; ligules 1–2 mm long. Inflorescence remaining wholly or largely enclosed within uppermost leaf-sheath, c. 1–2 cm long, usually comprising only 2–6 spikelets each on a short branch and subtended by an involucre 8–15 mm long (shorter than the spikelets). Spikelets narrow-lanceolate, 10–20 mm long; lower and upper glumes vestigial, represented by membranous scales, occasionally to 3 mm long, but usually much shorter, or sometimes absent; lower floret sterile, its lemma equal to the spikelet, 9–13-nerved, membranous, palea absent; upper floret bisexual, lemma equal to lower lemma, palea subequal to lemma; stamens briefly but prominently exserted at anthesis, the fine filaments 2–4 cm long. Flowers Jan.–Apr.

*Brid, *CVU, *DunT, *EGL, *EGU, *GipP, *Glep, *Gold, *GGr, *HSF, *LoM, *MuF, *NIS, *OtP, *OtR, *Strz, *VRiv, *VVP, *WaP, *WPro, *Wim. Naturalised in all States. Native to Africa. Naturalised through much of Victoria, particularly on sandy soils of the lowlands (e.g. coasts, north-west) and tolerating a degree of salinity. Widely grown as a hardy lawn species in most areas, failing to thrive in very heavy soils, in very dry areas and in cooler montane zones.

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 clandestinum Hochst. ex Chiov.).
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2018-11-13
Hero image
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 clandestinus in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Cenchrus clandestinus in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Lowan Mallee present introduced
Wimmera present naturalised
Glenelg Plain present naturalised
Bridgewater present naturalised
Victorian Volcanic Plain present naturalised
Victorian Riverina present naturalised
Murray Fans present naturalised
Gippsland Plain present naturalised
Otway Plain present naturalised
Warrnambool Plain present naturalised
Goldfields present naturalised
Central Victorian Uplands present naturalised
Greater Grampians present naturalised
Dundas Tablelands present naturalised
Northern Inland Slopes present naturalised
East Gippsland Lowlands present naturalised
East Gippsland Uplands present naturalised
Wilsons Promontory present naturalised
Highlands-Southern Fall present naturalised
Otway Ranges present naturalised
Strzelecki Ranges present naturalised

State distribution

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