Kikuyu grass

Kikuyu grass

Pennisetum clandestinum

Scientific name

Kikuyu is an aggressive East African perennial (existing for a seemingly infinite time) that spreads by a thick rhizome (root) runners that form a network that smothers indigenous vegetation in Cape Town and world wide.

It has a number of natural enemies but they have not been developed into a control as it is valued as a lawn grass and for erosion control.

Propagation instructions

By seed

Kikuyu is resistant to grazing and mowing. It is fire and shade resistant and tolerates a wide range of soil types and pHs. If well-managed it does not spread very far. To remove use a fork to lift the mat of roots and roll the lawn like a carpet. Spot treat pathway grass with highly concentrated salt water where you don't plan to plant other plants. When establishing a new bed, it is worthwhile to remove every single segment of root of this plant as you will have to use chemical methods to eradicate these extensive roots once they are embedded in a Fynbos patch as the disturbance required to remove Kikuyu roots will kill the sensitive roots of many Fynbos species.

References and further reading

Learn more »

Wikipedia page »

Can you help us remove this species?

This species is a difficult weed in our Fynbos patches. Can you help us remove it? See our activity calendar for upcoming activities, or arrange with us visit our Fynbos patches and do the weeding in your own time.

I can help!

Important characteristics

This species was selected because it is a difficult alien invasive weed in our Fynbos patch(es).

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