Skip to main content

Pennisetum clandestinum Chiov.
Kikuyu Grass

This name is not current. Find out more information on related names.

Annuario Reale Ist.Bot.Roma 8:41,Tab.5,Fig.2 (1903)
Conservation Code
Not threatened
Naturalised Status
Alien to Western Australia
Name Status
Not Current

Rhizomatous, stoloniferous perennial, grass-like or herb, 0.07-0.15 m high. Fl. green, Oct to Dec or Jan to Mar. Sand. Cultivated as a lawn but has become naturalized, prefers moist habitats.

Grazyna Paczkowska, Descriptive Catalogue, 1 December 1993

Management Notes (for the Swan NRM Region)

General Biology. Growth form. Grass. Life form. Perennial, stoloniferous/rhizomatous. Reproduction. Rhizomes, stolons. Dispersal. Grazing animals, garden refuse, soil movement. Photosynthetic Pathway. C4. Seedbank persistence. Rarely sets seed. Fire response. Resprouts.

Notes. Grows rapidly forming dense mats. Favoured as a lawn and pasture species, however is a serious weed of bushland particularly riparian areas. Shades and inhibits growth of herbs and shrubs. Known to release allelopathic substances which impacts all other nearby species. Generally retards fire.

Additional information. Origin. Tropical eastern Africa. History of use/introduction. Lawn, pasture, soil stabilisation.

Suggested method of management and control. Difficult to manually control as all rhizomes must be removed. Spray with 1% glyphosate or Fusilade® Forte at 16 ml/L + wetting agent. 2-3 sprays over a single growing season are often required. Use unplanned fire events to effectively control any regrowth. Read the manufacturers' labels and material safety data sheets before using herbicides. For further information consult the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to determine the status of permits for your situation or state.

Management Calendar

Calendar Type Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Comments
Dormant           Y Y Y          
Active Growth Y Y Y O         Y Y Y Y  
Flowering Y Y                   Y  
Optimum Treatment Y O O O             Y Y  

Legend: Y = Yes, regularly, O = Occasionally, U = Uncertain, referred by others but not confirmed.



  • Brown, K. & Brooks, K. (2002) Bushland Weeds: A Practical Guide to their Management. Environmental Weeds Action Network, Greenwood.
  • California Department of Food and Agriculture (2001) Encycloweedia: The noxious weeds data sheets. URL: - Accessed December 2007.
  • CRC Weed Management (2008) Weed Management Guide - Feathergrasses and mission grasses (Pennisetum species). CRC for Australian Weed Management, Canberra.
  • Hussey, B.M.J., Keighery, G.J., Dodd, J., Lloyd, S.G. & Cousens, R.D. (2007) Western Weeds. A guide to the weeds of Western Australia. 2nd Edition. The Plant Protection Society of Western Australia, Victoria Park.
  • Moore, J.H. & Wheeler, J. (2008) Southern weeds and their control. DAFWA Bulletin 4744.
  • Muyt, A. (2001) Bush invaders of South-East Australia: A guide to the identification and control of environmental weeds found in South-East Australia. R.G. & F.J. Richardson, Melbourne.
  • Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (2008) Plant threats to Pacific ecosystems. URL: - Accessed January 2010.
  • Parsons, J.M. (ed.) (1995) The Australian weed control handbook. 10th Edition. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
  • Wilen, C.A. & Holt, J.S. (1996) Physiological mechanisms for the rapid growth of Pennisetum clandestinum in Mediterranean climates. Weed Research, 36: 213-225.