Plant Assessment Form

Pennisetum clandestinum

Common Names: kikuyugrass

Evaluated on: 4/5/05

List committee review date: 08/07/2005

Re-evaluation date:

Evaluator(s)

Elizabeth Brusati, project manager
California Invasive Plant Council
1442A Walnut St. #462, Berkeley, CA 94709
510-843-3902
edbrusati@cal-ipc.org
Joseph M. DiTomaso
University of California, Davis
Dept. Plant Sci., Mail Stop 4, Davis, CA 95616
530-754-8715
jmditomaso@ucdavis.edu

List commitee members

Jake Sigg
Peter Warner
Bob Case
John Knapp
Elizabeth Brusati

General Comments

All of the available information on kikuyu grass refers to its invasiveness in turf rather than wildlands.

Table 2. Criteria, Section, and Overall Scores

Overall Score? Limited
Alert Status? No Alert
Documentation? 2.5 out of 5
Score Documentation
1.1 ?Impact on abiotic ecosystem processes U Reviewed Scientific Publication
Impact?
Four-part score UCUD Total Score
C
1.2 ?Impact on plant community C. Minor Observational
1.3 ?Impact on higher trophic levels U. Unknown
1.4 ?Impact on genetic integrity D. None Other Published Material
2.1 ?Role of anthropogenic and natural disturbance in establishment B. Moderate Reviewed Scientific Publication
Invasiveness?
Total Points
10 Total Score C
2.2 ?Local rate of spread with no management B. Increases less rapidly Observational
2.3 ?Recent trend in total area infested within state C. Stable Observational
2.4 ?Innate reproductive potential
(see Worksheet A)
C. Low Other Published Material
2.5 ?Potential for human-caused dispersal B. Moderate Observational
2.6 ? Potential for natural long-distance dispersal D. None Other Published Material
2.7 ?Other regions invaded B. Invades 1 or 2 ecological types Reviewed Scientific Publication
3.1 ?Ecological amplitude/Range
(see Worksheet C)
A. Widespread Other Published Material
Distribution?
Total Score B
3.2 ?Distribution/Peak frequency
(see Worksheet C)
D. Very low Observational

Table 3. Documentation

Scores are explained in the "Criteria for Categorizing Invasive Non-Native Plants that Threaten Wildlands".

Section 1: Impact
Question 1.1 Impact on abiotic ecosystem processes? U Reviewed Scientific Publication
Identify ecosystem processes impacted:

Unknown, generally a landscape or turf problem.


Sources of information:

Question 1.2 Impact on plant community composition,
structure, and interactions?
C Observational
Identify type of impact or alteration:

Some indication that the species can act as a cover crop and smother native species. Little published since it is not commonly a problem in wildlands.


Sources of information:

DiTomaso, observational.


Question 1.3 Impact on higher trophic levels? U
Identify type of impact or alteration:

Unknown


Sources of information:

Question 1.4 Impact on genetic integrity? D Other Published Material

None No native Pennisetum species.


Sources of information:

Hickman, J. C. (ed.) 1993. The Jepson Manual, Higher Plants of California. University of California Press. Berkeley, CA enter text here


Section 2: Invasiveness
Question 2.1 Role of anthropogenic and natural disturbance
in establishment?
B Observational
Describe role of disturbance:

In native range, occurs at forest margins and moves rapidly into cleared areas in the first stages of succession.


Sources of information:

Wilen, C. A., and J. S. Holt. 1996. Physiological mechansims for the rapid growth of Pennisetum clandestinum in Mediterranean climates. Weed Research. 36:213-225


Question 2.2 Local rate of spread with no management? B Observational
Describe rate of spread:

Creeping rhizomes can increase population. Produces little seed so spread is mainly vegetative.


Sources of information:

DiTomaso, observational


Question 2.3 Recent trend in total area infested within state? C Observational
Describe trend:

no information


Sources of information:

DiTomaso, observational


Question 2.4 Innate reproductive potential? C Other Published Material
Describe key reproductive characteristics:

1. Wilen, C. A., and J. S. Holt. 1996. Physiological mechansims for the rapid growth of Pennisetum clandestinum in Mediterranean climates. Weed Research. 36:213-225
DiTomaso and Healy. 2006. Weeds of California. UC DANR Publ. #3488.


Sources of information:

Used as a turf grass in some coastal areas.


Question 2.5 Potential for human-caused dispersal? B Observational
Identify dispersal mechanisms:

Used as a turf grass in some coastal areas.


Sources of information:

DiTomaso, observational.


Question 2.6 Potential for natural long-distance dispersal? D Other Published Material
Identify dispersal mechanisms:

Passage through gut of animals (1). Planted for turf or forage. Not much opportunity for natural long-distance movement. Seeds can survive up to 10 days in the rumen of cattle (1).


Sources of information:

1. Gardener, C.J., J. G. McIvor, A. Jansen. 1993. Survival of seeds of tropical grassland species subjected to bovine digestion. Journal of Applied Ecology. 30:75-85
DiTomaso and Healy. 2006. Weeds of California. UC DANR Publ. #3488.


Question 2.7 Other regions invaded? B Reviewed Scientific Publication
Identify other regions:

Native to the east and central highlands of Africa. Has become invasive in many parts of the world, including Australia and New Zealand (1). Also in Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands (2). Could possibly move into rangeland areas.


Sources of information:

1. Wilen, C. A., and J. S. Holt. 1996. Physiological mechansims for the rapid growth of Pennisetum clandestinum in Mediterranean climates. Weed Research. 36:213-225
2. USDA, NRCS. 2005. The PLANTS Database, Version 3.5 (http://plants.usda.gov). National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.


Section 3: Distribution
Question 3.1 Ecological amplitude/Range? A Other Published Material

Invasive in temperate coastal and near-coastal areas of California. Tolerates moderately cool temperatures (1). Present along coast from Mendocino to San Diego counties, and in Nevada county (2). Was introduced into California around 1918 and has spread inland to the Los Angeles Basin, and parts of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys (3).Also gardens, landscaped areas, orchards, cropland, turf, forested sites, and occasionally wetland areas (4).


Sources of information:

1. Wilen, C. A., and J. S. Holt. 1996. Physiological mechansims for the rapid growth of Pennisetum clandestinum in Mediterranean climates. Weed Research. 36:213-225
2. USDA, NRCS. 2005. The PLANTS Database, Version 3.5 (http://plants.usda.gov). National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA
3. Elmore, C. L., V. A. Gibeault, and D. W. Cudney. 1997. Invasion resistance of tall fescue (Festuca arundinaceae) and perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) to kikuyugrass (Pennisetum clandestinum). Weed Technology. 11:24-29
4. DiTomaso and Healy. 2006. Weeds of California. UC DANR Publ. #3488.


Question 3.2 Distribution/Peak frequency? D Observational
Describe distribution:

Not commonly encountered except in some areas of the central and southern coast.


Sources of information:

DiTomaso, observational


Worksheet A - Innate reproductive potential

Reaches reproductive maturity in 2 years or less Yes
Dense infestations produce >1,000 viable seed per square meter No
Populations of this species produce seeds every year. No
Seed production sustained over 3 or more months within a population annually No
Seeds remain viable in soil for three or more years No
Viable seed produced with both self-pollination and cross-pollination No
Has quickly spreading vegetative structures (rhizomes, roots, etc.) that may root at nodes Yes
Fragments easily and fragments can become established elsewhere No
Resprouts readily when cut, grazed, or burned Yes
Total points: 3
Total unknowns: 0
Total score: C?

Related traits:

Worksheet B - Arizona Ecological Types is not included here

Worksheet C - California Ecological Types

(sensu Holland 1986)
Major Ecological Types Minor Ecological Types Code?
Marine Systemsmarine systems
Freshwater and Estuarine lakes, ponds, reservoirs
Aquatic Systemsrivers, streams, canals
estuaries
Dunescoastal
desert
interior
Scrub and Chaparralcoastal bluff scrub
coastal scrubD, < 5%
Sonoran desert scrub
Mojavean desert scrub (incl. Joshua tree woodland)
Great Basin scrub
chenopod scrub
montane dwarf scrub
Upper Sonoran subshrub scrub
chaparral
Grasslands, Vernal Pools, Meadows, and other Herb Communitiescoastal prairieD, < 5%
valley and foothill grassland
Great Basin grassland
vernal pool
meadow and seepD, < 5%
alkali playa
pebble plain
Bog and Marshbog and fen
marsh and swampD, < 5%
Riparian and Bottomland habitatriparian forestD, < 5%
riparian woodland
riparian scrub (incl.desert washes)D, < 5%
Woodlandcismontane woodland
piñon and juniper woodland
Sonoran thorn woodland
Forestbroadleaved upland forest
North Coast coniferous forestD, < 5%
closed cone coniferous forest
lower montane coniferous forest
upper montane coniferous forest
subalpine coniferous forest
Alpine Habitatsalpine boulder and rock field
alpine dwarf scrub
Amplitude (breadth): A
Distribution (highest score): D

Infested Jepson Regions

Click here for a map of Jepson regions

  • Central West
  • Great Valley
  • Northwest
  • Southwest
  • Mojave Desert