Pennisetum clandestinum

Pennisetum clandestinum_kikuyugrass_JM DiTomaso_cropped
Photo: Joseph DiTomaso

Common names: Kikuyu grass

Pennisetum clandestinum (kikuyugrass) is a perennial grass (family Poaceae) that prefers disturbed areas, such as roadsides, urban areas, cropland, turf, forested sites and wetland areas. Kikuyugrass reproduces from seed and vegetatively, using its extensive system of creeping stolons and rhizomes. Kikuyugrass populations can be controlled by hand removal if detected early. Agricultural and landscape maintenance equipment should be cleaned after use in areas with kikuyugrass infestations in order to prevent the spread of rhizome and stolon fragments.

Cal-IPC Rating: Limited?

CDFA Rating: C*?


Plant Assessment Form - Information gathered by Cal-IPC on the impacts, rate of spread, and distribution of invasive plants in California. Does not include management information.

Weed Management Notes

  • Management Notes - Information on management techniques and effectiveness from the University of California Cooperative Extension’s Weed Research & Information Center.

Cal-IPC Newsletter Articles

There are no newsletter articles associated with this species yet.

Cal-IPC Symposium Presentations

Presentations are linked where available. Where a presentation is not available, find more information by reading the abstract in the Cal-IPC Symposia Archive.

Other Pennisetum clandestinum Information

  • CalPhotos - Images of plants taken mostly in California.
  • Calflora - Distribution map and records of this species in California.
  • CalWeedMapper - Distribution map of this species in California with ability to determine regional priorities.
  • EDDMapS - Distribution of this species in North America.
  • Jepson Interchange - Information on this plant's taxonomy, biology, and distribution from UC Berkeley's Jepson Herbarium.
  • USDA PLANTS Database - Information on identification and distribution, with links to websites in individual states.
  • Additional photos

    Pennisetum clandestinum_florets, leaves and stem_copyright2008_NealKramer
    Pennisetum clandestinum (kikuyugrass) florets, leaves and stem. Photo: &#169 2008 Neal Kramer
    Pennisetum clandestinum_growth habit_copyright2014_NealKramer
    Pennisetum clandestinum (kikuyugrass) growth habit. Photo: &#169 2014 Neal Kramer