Pennisetum polystachion

Common Name(s): mission grass

Non-Native to Florida

An annual or short-lived perennial grass that reaches up to 6 feet in height, mission grass is found in disturbed sites in South Florida.

Blades are linear and up to 22 inches in length. They can be either hairless or pubescent near the base. Sheath margins and ligules have hairs.

Mission grass spreads primarily via seeds, although it can also spread through stem segments. Flowering occurs from summer to fall, and inflorescences are upright, spike-like panicles up to 14 inches long; yellow, brown, or purple in color. Spikelets are up to 5 mm long.

Source: Cane Grasses of Florida – An Identification Guide by C.M. Prince and G. E. MacDonald. SS-AGR-409 (2017)