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Cenchrus setosus Sw.

Family Name: Poaceae (Gramineae)
Synonyms: Pennisetum polystachion auct. non (L.) Schult.
Common Name: Mission Grass, 牧地狼尾草
Full Sun: 6-8h Little Water Moderate Water Dry Soils / Drought Grass & Grass-like Plant Woody Herbaceous


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Monocotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Shrub (Herbaceous), Grass & Grass-like Plant (Tall Grass (Poaceae))
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic


Native Distribution Tropical Africa to India
Native Habitat Terrestrial

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form A grass, it can grow up to 1 to 1.5m in height. 
Foliage The leaves are linear in shape and has a hispid surface. The leaves can grow up to 10 to 20cm in length.  
Flowers The flowers are borne on an inflorescence called a spike. The inflorescence is dense and linear and is curved or has a straight growth form and is yellowish-brown in colour. The flowers (spikelets) are surrounded by bristles and is densely ciliate at the base. 
Habitat It can be found in disturbed areas such as wastelands, roadsides and degraded pastures. 
Taxonomy Previous name of Pennisetum polystachion auct. non (L.) Schult. was misused in Singapore. Updated name of Cenchrus setosus Sw. is applicable to wild plants in Singapore but not necessarily to wild plants elsewhere or to cultivated plants originating elsewhere.
Cultivation It is ideally grown under full sun with moderate water. It is drought tolerant and can tolerate lesser water. 

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Seeds, Ornamental Form
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Dry Soils / Drought, Poor Infertile Soils, Easy to Grow
Landscape Uses Parks & Gardens
Thematic Landscaping Wildflower Garden
Usage Hazard - Cons Invasive / Potentially Invasive

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water, Little Water, [Remarks] (It is ideally grown with moderate water but can tolerate minimal water conditions. )
Plant Growth Rate Fast
Maintenance Requirements Low
Propagation Method Seed, Division

Image Repository



Master ID 31513
Species ID 5910
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 20 April 2020.