|Discoverer||Heinrich Christian Friedrich Schumacher (standardized as "Schumach")|
|Subkingdom||Embryophytes (Land plants)|
|Infrakingdom||Polysporangiophyte (Sporophyte has branching stems that bear sporangia)|
|Superphylum||Tracheophytes (Vascular plants)|
|Phylum||Spermatophytes (Seed plants)|
|Subphylum||Angiosperms (Flowering plants)|
|Infraphylum||Monocots (Seeds typically contain only one embryonic leaf)|
|Class||Commelinids (Monocots whose cell walls contain UV-fluorescent ferulic acid)|
|Order||Poales (Grasses, bromeliads, and sedges)|
Napier Grass, also known as Uganda Grass and one of three species referred to as Elephant Grass (Pennisetum purpureum) is a species of perennial tropical fountaingrass indigenous to the grasslands of Africa.
Napier Grass is tall—growing upwards of 10 ft tall—and forms into robust, bamboo-like clumps. While it is a heterozygous plant and can be propagated through seeds, seed production is inconsistent and rarely reach full form. Instead it more often than not reproduces via stolons that extend as horizontal shoots above the soil from which newborn grass will propagate.
They grow quickly and can reach maturity 4-6 times per year. Not only this but they require low water and nutrient input which allows it to make use of uncultivated lands. This has been known to improve soil fertility and protect arid land from soil erosion.
Certain cultivars exist such as the "Ugandan Hairliess", which is used as a higher value fodder crop for dairy farmers in East Africa.
Napier Grass is eaten by numerous animals, including the African Elephant from which it gains its alternate name, and it is used to feed cattle and buffalo in the region. It notably attracts the Stemborer Moths (specifically the Maize Stalk Borer and the Spotted Stalk Borer). Humans are known to use to young leaves and shoots to make soups and stews.