Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Morphology and spread of kikuya grass (Pennisetum clandestinum Hochst.).

Abstract

Pennisetum clandestinum was introduced into New Zealand in 1920 and is now regarded as a major weed. The plant spreads rapidly by means of long, branched rhizomes. In the present study, light intensity, temp. and nutrient level all affected the vigour and habit of lateral shoots. In New Zealand, P. clandestinum does not set seed. However, single- and multiple-node fragments of rhizome regenerated vigorously and young and old nodes developed equally well. In single-node fragments, reserves were drawn preferentially from the internode nearer the apex. The vigour and mode of growth of P. clandestinum from rhizome fragments was determined by the physiological state of the parent as well as by environmental conditions.