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Pennisetum clandestinum is a perennial grasslike herb that is not native to California.
[Cal-IPC] Invasive: Pennisetum clandestinum (kikuyugrass) is a perennial grass (family Poaceae) that prefers disturbed areas, such as roadsides, urban areas, cropland, turf, forested sites and wetland areas. Kikuyugrass reproduces from seed and vegetatively, using its extensive system of creeping stolons and rhizomes. Kikuyugrass populations can be controlled by hand removal if detected early. Agricultural and landscape maintenance equipment should be cleaned after use in areas with kikuyu grass infestations in order to prevent the spread of rhizome and stolon fragments.
Cal-IPC Rating: Limited (contributed by Mary Ann Machi)
[Wikipedia] East Africa native, Noxious weed: The tropical grass species Cenchrus clandestinus (previously Pennisetum clandestinum) is known by several common names, most often Kikuyu grass, as it is native to the highland regions of East Africa that is home to the Kikuyu people. Because of its rapid growth and aggressive nature, it is categorised as a noxious weed in some regions. However, it is also a popular garden lawn species in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the southern region of California in the United States, as it is inexpensive and moderately drought-tolerant. In addition, it is useful as pasture for livestock grazing and serves as a food source for many avian species, including the long-tailed widowbird. The flowering culms are very short and "hidden" amongst the leaves, giving this species its specific epithet (clandestinus). (contributed by Mary Ann Machi)
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Information on California plants for education, research and conservation,
with data contributed by
public and private institutions and individuals.
[web application]. 2023. Berkeley, California:The Calflora Database
[a non-profit organization].Available: