Vascular Plants of the Gila Wilderness

Presented in Association with the
Western New Mexico University Department of Natural Sciences

Pennisetum villosum R. Br. ex Fresen
(Feathertop)


Family: Poaceae

Status: Exotic

Synonyms:
Cenchrus longisetus M.C. Johnst.

Pennisetum villosum is native to Ethiopia, Somalia and the Arabian Peninsula according to FNA. It is a rhizomatous perennial with hairy ligules and lower leaf blades. There are bristles that emerge from underneath the spikelets. The bristles are plumose. The inflorescence is a spicate panicle that is terminal on the culm. Pennisetum belongs to the Paniceae, so there are 2 florets per spikelet, with the lower one sterile. Pennisetum villosum is most easily recognized by the bright white inflorescences with plumose bristles. It is found in lawns and disturbed areas in town. Many thanks to Bill Norris for discovering this plant, identifying it, and allowing me to photograph it!
Please click on an image for a larger file.



Pennisetum villosum, photo Russ Kleinman & Bill Norris, Carnali Field, October 23, 2012



Pennisetum villosum, closeup of inflorescence, photo Russ Kleinman & Bill Norris, Carnali Field, October 23, 2012



Pennisetum villosum, inflorescence measured in lab, photo Russ Kleinman & Bill Norris, Carnali Field, October 23, 2012



Pennisetum villosum, 3x macro of spikelet and subtending plumose bristles, photo Russ Kleinman & Bill Norris, Carnali Field, October 23, 2012



Pennisetum villosum, 3x macro of ligule and base of blade, photo Russ Kleinman & Bill Norris, Carnali Field, October 23, 2012


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