Fountain Grass (Pennisetum setaceum), Coastal Path
This herb is a very thick perennial plant, which is 1m tall and belongs to the gramineous family of plants. Their upright stems can be simple or with branches. They are gathered in clusters. The flowers display consists of more or less dense whitish or violet plumose spikelets. They can bear spikes, but if not, they can be told apart from other gramineous plants by its light green colour and rough surface.
DISTRIBUTION AND HABITAT
This species is a native of South Africa, where they live on stony and dry ground, as well as in the rocks' cracks. In Spain, they live on meadows and grassland in areas changed by human action. They also inhabit scrub at the sea level, scrubland at the medium-high altitudes, uncultivated land, desert scrub, scrubland along the coast with low level of salt, residential and urban areas, farmland, green areas created by human action, coastlines with a lot of sunlight, such as rocks and cliffs.
HOW THEY LIVE
They blossom from March to September. Their leaves clusters are long-lived, and they can live more than twenty years. This grass reproduces by seeds, which are plenty. They can germinate in the ground for six years. They are easily spread by wind and water, vehicles, wild animals, domestic animals and even people.
WHERE THEY CAN BE SEEN IN MÁLAGA
On the Málaga's coastline, this species can be found on sand close to the gardens in building complexes, as it is rather used in landscaping, and it easily gets to the environment.
This plant is a hermaphrodite which can go through the germination process throughout the year. Its grass clusters can leave up to twenty year and resprout easily from the parts of their roots. Their reproduction rate by seeds is very high, and the germination ability lasts for six years. These plants resist cuts, being stepped on, fire and a lot of herbicides. They can live in varied surroundings and soils, which is why this species has invasive potential which can be highly harmful for the environment.
When it is not in blossom, while it is still young, this kind of grass can be confused with other gramineous plants, but when it blooms, its peculiar spikes makes it easily identified.