Morphology of Pennisetum orientale (Poaceae: Paniceae) Academic Article uri icon


  • Pennisetum orientale Rich., a polymorphic species, is potentially important as an ornamental and as a valuable source for germplasm in forage crop improvement programs. Unfortunately little information is available on the diversity within U.S. collections. This investigation was initiated to provide an extensive morphological analysis of each of eleven P. orientale accessions and to characterize the germplasm. Cytological studies revealed that all accessions were tetraploids (2n=36) and that method of reproduction being sexual or aposporus apomicts. Based on plant heights, leaf blade lengths and widths, inflorescence density, and growth habit in College Station (with a latitude of 31.5), Texas, the accessions 269961, 330717, 271595, 433, and Cowboy appeared to have the best forage potential. However, this has yet to be supported by studies on nutritional value. There were also some distinct taxonomic features such as the longest ligule length in PI 315867; central spikelet length in PI's 215600 and 315867 which was significantly longer than all the other accessions. Furthermore, long anthers and filaments were observed in PI's 330717 and 315867. Additional germplasm acquisition from non-represented areas could expand genetic diversity in the germplasm collection.

published proceedings

  • SIDA, Contributions to Botany

author list (cited authors)

  • Ramu, J., Hatch, S. L., Hussey, M. A., & Bashaw, E. C.

complete list of authors

  • Ramu, J||Hatch, SL||Hussey, MA||Bashaw, EC

publication date

  • January 1996