Cenchrus purpurascens

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Cenchrus purpurascensFamily: Poaceae
Genus: Cenchrus
Common names: Swamp Foxtail
ALA reference

The plant that is growing in the swampy, wet area below the storm water drain outfall has finally flowered and can now be identified. I’ve been watching it for about a year now with the expectation that it might be a sedge. However it has turned out to be a grass that is now classified as Cenchrus purpurascens, but it appears in most books, including Mangroves to Mountains, as Pennisetum alopecuroides (Swamp Foxtail). Its status as a native or introduced species is rather confused. In Mangroves to Mountains it is listed as an introduced species and was similarly classified by the Queensland Herbarium until quite recently. However the Queensland Herbarium now considers it to be a native species as does the Flora of New South Wales. I suspect that the source of the seed for this plant was from a plant growing in Fort Road and that seed was washed down the storm water drain. (March 2012)

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