Pennisetum pedicellatum (deenanath grass)
- Summary of Invasiveness
- Taxonomic Tree
- Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature
- Plant Type
- Distribution Table
- History of Introduction and Spread
- Risk of Introduction
- Habitat List
- Hosts/Species Affected
- Host Plants and Other Plants Affected
- Growth Stages
- Biology and Ecology
- Air Temperature
- Soil Tolerances
- Notes on Natural Enemies
- Means of Movement and Dispersal
- Pathway Vectors
- Plant Trade
- Impact Summary
- Environmental Impact
- Impact: Biodiversity
- Social Impact
- Risk and Impact Factors
- Uses List
- Similarities to Other Species/Conditions
- Prevention and Control
- Links to Websites
- Distribution Maps
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PicturesTop of page
IdentityTop of page
Preferred Scientific Name
- Pennisetum pedicellatum Trin.
Preferred Common Name
- deenanath grass
Other Scientific Names
- Eriochaeta secundiflora Figari & De Notaris
- Pennisetum amoenum A. Rich.
- Pennisetum densiflorum (Figari & DeNot) T. Durand & Schinz
- Pennisetum dillonii Steud.
- Pennisetum implicatum Steud.
- Pennisetum lanuginosum Hochst.
International Common Names
- English: annual kyasuwa grass; dinanath grass; feather pennisetum; kayasuwa grass; kyasuma grass; kyasuwa grass; perennial dinanath
Local Common Names
- Australia: dryland napier grass
- Nigeria: Nigeria grass
- PESPE (Pennisetum pedicellatum)
Summary of InvasivenessTop of page
Taxonomic TreeTop of page
- Domain: Eukaryota
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Spermatophyta
- Subphylum: Angiospermae
- Class: Monocotyledonae
- Order: Cyperales
- Family: Poaceae
- Genus: Pennisetum
- Species: Pennisetum pedicellatum
Notes on Taxonomy and NomenclatureTop of page
DescriptionTop of page
Plant TypeTop of page
Grass / sedge
Distribution TableTop of page
The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.Last updated: 12 May 2022
|Continent/Country/Region||Distribution||Last Reported||Origin||First Reported||Invasive||Reference||Notes|
|Burkina Faso||Present, Widespread||Native||Invasive|
|Cabo Verde||Present, Widespread||Native||Invasive|
|Côte d'Ivoire||Present, Widespread||Native||Invasive|
|-Andaman and Nicobar Islands||Present||Introduced||Invasive|
|-West Bengal||Present, Widespread||Introduced||Invasive|
|United States||Present||Present based on regional distribution.|
|U.S. Minor Outlying Islands||Present||Introduced||Invasive|
History of Introduction and SpreadTop of page
Risk of IntroductionTop of page
HabitatTop of page
Habitat ListTop of page
|Terrestrial||Managed||Cultivated / agricultural land||Present, no further details||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Terrestrial||Managed||Protected agriculture (e.g. glasshouse production)||Present, no further details||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Terrestrial||Managed||Managed forests, plantations and orchards||Present, no further details||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Terrestrial||Managed||Managed grasslands (grazing systems)||Present, no further details|
|Terrestrial||Natural / Semi-natural||Natural forests||Present, no further details||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Terrestrial||Natural / Semi-natural||Natural grasslands||Present, no further details|
|Terrestrial||Natural / Semi-natural||Wetlands||Present, no further details||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Terrestrial||Natural / Semi-natural||Cold lands / tundra||Present, no further details||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
|Terrestrial||Natural / Semi-natural||Deserts||Present, no further details||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
Hosts/Species AffectedTop of page
Host Plants and Other Plants AffectedTop of page
Growth StagesTop of page
Biology and EcologyTop of page
Cytological studies of the perennial accession type Agros-4 of P. pedicellatum revealed it to be an octoploid (2n=72) with a base chromosome number of x=9. Detailed cytological analysis and the nature of chromosome pairing at microsporogenesis suggest a segmental allopolyploid origin of the taxon (Zadoo et al., 1997). However, the annual form of the weed in Australia was shown to have a chromosome number of 2n=36 (Harrison, 1983). Studies indicate that P. pedicellatum might hybridize with P. polystachion (Hepper, 1972).
Physiology and Phenology
Seedling growth varied considerably with temperature with the highest growth at a constant temperature of 32°C. P. pedicellatum responds well to nitrogen fertilization, with maximum yields (13 t DM/ha) obtained at 145 kg N/ha (Mukherjee et al., 1982). In Orissa, P. pedicellatum sown at the end of March gave fresh fodder yields of 55.7-81 t/ha and 82.1-128.5 t/ha when harvested 82 and 110 days after sowing, respectively (Mandal and Vamadevan, 1978). P. pedicellatum tiller number per plant increased with row spacing and highest yields were obtained with a 15 cm inter-row spacing (Ferris and Poudal, 1995). Cross-sowing of P. pedicellatum and Vigna unguiculata at 100% sowing rates of 12 and 40 kg seeds/ha, respectively, gave 53.30 t/ha fresh fodder and 11.50 t DM/ha (Prasad et al., 1990). The chemical composition of P. pedicellatum plants varied with the phenology (Banerjee and Mandal, 1974; Upadhyay et al., 1978; Jakhmola and Pathak; 1983).
Dry matter content of P. pedicellatum is 17-44% (Singh and Premchand Rahaman, 1972). Applied nitrogen increased below ground biomass, root length and root length density of P. pedicellatum (Vinod et al., 1996). Moreover, root growth was greatest at a 75-day cutting frequency, with the presence of mycorrhiza provoking a change in protein profiles and enzymes in the roots of P. pedicellatum (Ramesh et al., 2000). P. pedicellatum inoculated with Glomus mosseae, G. aggregatum and Gigaspora margarita, showed that G. margarita induced increased protein content, and acid phosphatase, alkaline phosphatase, superoxide dismutase and chitinase activities were highest at the beginning of infection, but declined as the infection advanced. G. margarita was an efficient fungus in enhancing enzyme activity and proteins in roots compared with Glomus mosseae and G. aggregatum.
Embryogenesis has been studied (Shobha and Sindhe, 2000) and P. pedicellatum has apomictic reproductive behaviour (Chaix and Marchais, 1996). Seed yield in P. pedicellatum depends upon flowering period, flag-leaf area and number of panicles per plant (Muralimohanreddy and Chatterji, 1975), increasing linearly with nitrogen rates from 0.80 to 1.21 t/ha (Ramamurthy et al., 1998). Uniform ability for germination of P. pedicellatum seed is obtained at temperatures of 25-35°C (Afolayan and Olugbami, 1993). Hull-imposed dormancy was evident and removal of husks facilitated germination (Parihar et al., 1997). To facilitate P. pedicellatum seed germination, Maiti et al. (1981) proposed soaking for 24 h in 1% nitric acid or scarification with sandpaper. Seeds of P. pedicellatum showed 94% viability with maximum seedling emergence with seed sown on the soil surface and a progressive decrease in emergence at greater soil depths; with percentage germination of 45% and 19.2% at depths of 2 cm and 6 cm, respectively (Ezeigwe and Olunuga, 1974), and no germination below 7 cm. Germination was reduced under continuous light or darkness as compared to under alternating light and dark conditions (Afolayan and Olugbami, 1993). Storage length affects seed germination, with percentage germination of 8 week-old seed found to be 175% by Ramamurthy et al. (1998), or 12% germination at 10 weeks after harvest and 73-100% germination at 20-66 weeks, with maximum germination (95-100%) at 34-66 weeks after harvest (Paramathma and Surendran, 1990).
P. pedicellatum is a tropical to sub-tropical species, tolerant to a range of rainfall regimes from semi-arid to humid. It is tolerant of salinity, though increased salinity affected growth (Varshney and Baijal, 1977). The species controlled water loss effectively and has a very strong recovery ability after watering even under severe drought conditions (Noitsakis et al., 1994).
On cultivated areas, the species is often associated with other weeds such as Andropogon pseudapricus, A. gayanus, A. fastigiatus, Aristida kerstingii, Loudetia togoensis and Pennisetum polystachion, and is considered as a characteristic species of young fallow (Poilecot, 1995). There are a number of recorded natural enemies, though their effects on the growth of P. pedicellatum are not known. Cynodon mosaic virus is associated with P. pedicellatum, first reported on Cynodon dactylon from India (Bhargava et al., 1971) and causing a systemic chlorotic mottling and is transmitted by mechanical inoculation and by aphids. It is also known to infect Zea mays and Sorghum bicolor. In Senegal, endomycorrhizal fungal (Glomus sp., Scutellospora verrucosa and S. gregaria) colonization by P. pedicellatum was poorly developed (Duponnois et al., 2001). Moreover, fungi such as Glomus intaradices, Sclerocystis rubiformis, Scutellospora gregaria, Scutellospora verrucosa were obtained in the rhizospheric soil of P. pedicellatum in Senegal (Ahmed et al., 1998). Also, Acaulospora sp., Glomus contrictum were obtained from the soil under P. pedicellatum using Lycopersicum esculentum and Lolium perenne as host plants. There are no reports on the mycorrhizal status of P. pedicellatum in semi arid soils, therefore the high spore density which can be obtained under this species may have come from other plants such as Acacia senegal, Combretum glutinosum, Piliostigma reticulatum, etc., which are known to harbour mycorrhiza (Cucousso, 1991). P. pedicellatum is usually associated with large nematode populations (Cadet and Floret, 1995), with Longidorus brevis described from Senegal (Swart et al., 1996) and Meloidogyne incognita in India (Vaishnav and Sethi, 1977). The contribution of termites to the breakdown of P. pedicellatum straw was estimated to be over 70% (Mando and Brussaard, 1999), indicating that it is an important resource for termites.
Air TemperatureTop of page
|Parameter||Lower limit||Upper limit|
|Absolute minimum temperature (ºC)||15|
|Mean annual temperature (ºC)||26||28|
|Mean maximum temperature of hottest month (ºC)||35|
|Mean minimum temperature of coldest month (ºC)||18|
RainfallTop of page
|Parameter||Lower limit||Upper limit||Description|
|Dry season duration||2||6||number of consecutive months with <40 mm rainfall|
|Mean annual rainfall||500||11000||mm; lower/upper limits|
Soil TolerancesTop of page
Special soil tolerances
Notes on Natural EnemiesTop of page
Means of Movement and DispersalTop of page
Pathway VectorsTop of page
Plant TradeTop of page
|Plant parts liable to carry the pest in trade/transport||Pest stages||Borne internally||Borne externally||Visibility of pest or symptoms|
|Fruits (inc. pods)||weeds/seeds|
|Growing medium accompanying plants||weeds/seeds|
|Stems (above ground)/Shoots/Trunks/Branches||weeds/leaves|
|True seeds (inc. grain)||weeds/seeds|
|Plant parts not known to carry the pest in trade/transport|
Impact SummaryTop of page
|Fisheries / aquaculture||None|
ImpactTop of page
Environmental ImpactTop of page
Impact: BiodiversityTop of page
Social ImpactTop of page
Risk and Impact FactorsTop of page
- Invasive in its native range
- Proved invasive outside its native range
- Highly adaptable to different environments
- Tolerates, or benefits from, cultivation, browsing pressure, mutilation, fire etc
- Has high reproductive potential
- Negatively impacts agriculture
- Reduced native biodiversity
- Competition - monopolizing resources
- Highly likely to be transported internationally accidentally
- Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately
- Difficult to identify/detect as a commodity contaminant
- Difficult/costly to control
UsesTop of page
In the Sahel, P. pedicellatum is also used as mulch in the rehabilitation of encrusted soil. The biological activity, mainly from termites, in mulched plots was the most important factor in the efficacy of mulching. In the plains of Chhattisgarh, India, the species is used for fuel (Misra, 1958). A mixture of chopped P. pedicellatum straw and clay is also used in the building of houses and straw is used to make mats and for roof thatch; a juice from leaves has medicinal purposes (Poilecot, 1995). P. pedicellatum has also been sown to control soil erosion and to improve the physical and chemical properties of the soil (Kumar and Jena, 1996).
Uses ListTop of page
Animal feed, fodder, forage
- Fodder/animal feed
Similarities to Other Species/ConditionsTop of page
Prevention and ControlTop of page
Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.
P. pedicellatum is a serious weed but can be controlled by timely cultivation (Doughton, 1974). Management by grazing at critical times may reduce seed production, but observations indicate that affects are limited.
Hand pulling can be effective on young seedling but it is impractical on large plants. Mechanical cutting is used and has an effect on the growth of the species, recorded for the maximization of production of the species as a fodder, with Prasad (1996) noting increased green forage yields higher with 2 cuts (36.2 t) than with 3 (31.1 t) or 4 cuts (29.9 t); and respective seed yields were 0.85, 0.33 and 0.14 t.
P. pedicellatum has been sucessfully controlled in Australia with glyphosate (McGowan, 1970), and the success of low application rates in no-till situations confirms the significant reduction of the species by judicious timing of spraying. Pre-emergence, spraying soil with trifluralin and nitralin, and bromacil and picloram, prevented germination of P. pedicellatum seed for 5 weeks (Suwunnamek, 1974) and Doughton (1974) found atrazine to be an effective pre-emergent herbicide. When seedlings were 5-10 cm high, diuron, ametryne and linuron were very effective, and when plants were 20-25 cm high, diuron, prometryne, linuron and glyphosate were effective (Suwunnamek, 1974).
No known efforts have been made towards biological control of P. pedicellatum.
ReferencesTop of page
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