This key is specifically developed for the identification of species belonging to the genus Pennisetum available on the European market. The reason for developing this key is the large number of Pennisetum species and varieties available and the difficulty of distinguishing them from each other. Since August 2017 one Pennisetum species, Pennisetum setaceum, is on the List of Invasive Alien Species of Union concern (the Union list), which forms the core of Regulation (EU) 1143/2014. Pennisetum setaceum being on the Union list entails that sales, distribution and cultivation of this species is prohibited. Furthermore, this entails that the species shall not be brought into the territory of the European Union, and the species shall not be released into the environment (Regulation (EU) 1143/2014).
The key includes descriptions and photos of 10 Pennisetum species and 27 Pennisetum varieties. Seventeen features can be selected in random order to find the right species. The features are illustrated with line drawings to facilitate identification.