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Elephantgrass or Napiergrass, Pennisetum purpureum

Family: Poaceae (Grass)

Group: Monocot

Life span: Perennial

Origin: Tropical America

Growth form: Graminoid

A robust, erect, cane-like stems, 6 to 15 feet tall. Leaf blades are flat, sandpapery and with long stiff hairs on the upper surface, and either sandpapery or smooth on the lower side. Blades are ¾ to 1¼ inch wide and 12 to 29 inches long. Leaf sheaths are hairy at and near the bottom of the stem and smooth towards the top of the stem. The stem is round, unlike giant bristlegrass, which can be somewhat similar in appearance, especially when examining the seedhead. Seedheads appear similar to bristly “bottle brushes”, and are typically 3 ¾ to 13 inches long.  Seed are mostly sterile, propagates vegetatively.