Scientific name
Pennisetum clandestinum

Common name

Other names (PBR name, trademark, breeder code)

kikuyugrass, kikuyu

'Whittet' is a coarse textured kikuyu which is is taller, and has broader leaves and rhizomes and longer internodes than common kikuyu. It is a rhizomatous and stoloniferous species, with stems 8–15 cm high (unmown). Leaf blades are 1–12 cm long and up to 6 mm wide; folded when young and flattened when mature. The leaf sheaths are yellow-green. Flowering is prolific and seed production is high when clipped. Whittet requires routine mowing to produce a dense turf sward. However, regular mowing also stimulates flowering expression in this variety i.e. white filaments are noticible and are left on the turf surface following mowing.

Other comments

Whittet thrives on lower fertility soils than common kikuyu. Copes well with clay loam and coarser sandy loam soils. Derived from seed brought to Grafton, NSW from Kitale, Kenya in 1960. Originally named Mk319 and later P.713 this line had a superior performance to 12 other Kenyan lines rated in 1961–62. Selected by Graeme P. M. Wilson of the NSW Department of Agriculture, the cultivar was named after the agronomist J. N. Whittet, who first described kikuyu flowering in Australia in 1934. Registered as an Australian Herbage Plant Cultivar (A-10c-1) in 1970 (Source: DAF notes). Seed only commercially produced in Australia. It is exported internationally to Europe, Southern Africa, Mexico, South America and China.



Pests, diseases and weeds

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Available in Sod/turf
Price range $4 - $8
Use Residential and Parks and Commercial
Suitable climate classification Subtropical and Temperate
Preferred mowing height 30mm - 40mm
Shade tolerance Moderate
Wear tolerance Moderate
Cold tolerance Moderate
Heat tolerance Moderate
Salinity tolerance Poor
Water requirement Low
Fertiliser requirement Moderate
Mowing frequency High
Thatch production Moderate
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