PENNISETUM L. C. Rich.
Plant caespitose or stoloniferous, perennial. Culms erect or ascending or decumbent or mat forming, glabrous or
pubescent; internodes solid, terete. Leaves not differentiated into two kinds (basal rosette absent), basal and
cauline, not distinctly distichous; sheaths terete or with compressed keels; ligules a ciliate membrane; blades
flat. Panicles contracted; primary branches reduced to a fascicle (bur) of bristles, and
one or more spikelets, terminating in a bristle; disarticulation at base of fascicles (bur); fascicle of
bristles with bristles terete, antrorsely barbed. Spikelets solitary or paired or ternate, not
embedded in branch, dorsiventrally compressed; florets 2; lower florets sterile and staminate or without
stamens; upper florets fertile, one half to equal lower floret length; first glumes present or absent,
not fused with callus, not encircling spikelet base, awnless; second glumes present, one half to equal spikelet
length, not saccate, 1-, 3-, 5-veined; lemma of upper florets chartaceous, smooth to scabrous, brown or
yellow or purple, glabrous, margins involute or flat, awnless; palea of upper florets present.
Stamens 3; anthers tan or gray. Base chromosome number x=9.
A tropical or subtropical genus of about 80 species.