Paspalum

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Paspalum
Paspalum dilatatum2.jpg
Paspalum dilatatum
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
(unranked): Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Subfamily: Panicoideae
Tribe: Paniceae
Genus: Paspalum
L.
Species

Numerous, see text

Paspalum is a genus of the grass family (Poaceae). Commonly known as paspalums, bahiagrasses, or dallis grasses, most are tall perennial New World grasses. They are warm-season C4 grasses and are most diverse in subtropical and tropical regions.

P. scrobiculatum (koda, varuka, varuku, etc.) is a millet locally grown as food grain. Some species, such as bahiagrass (P. notatum) and P. nicorae, are grown for pasturage, especially with the perennial forage peanut (Arachis glabrata) as a companion crop. Bahiagrass has also some significance as a honey plant.

Water finger-grass (P. vaginatum) resembles bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon), but has a higher salinity tolerance and can consume greywater. It is not infrequently used for arena and golf course turf in warmer coastal regions, such as Baja California, Florida, Peru, Texas and Venezuela. Dedicated paspalum cultivars such as 'Aloha Seashore' or 'Platinum TE' have been produced for such uses.

Paspalums are also food for caterpillars of lepidopterans such as the Pasture Day Moth (Apina callisto), and those of the Dark Palm Dart (Telicota ancilla) which feed on P. urvillei. Granivorous birds often eat paspalum seeds; the Chestnut-breasted Munia (Lonchura castaneothorax) readily feeds on the seeds of P. longifolium, for example.

The ergot Claviceps paspali is a sac fungus that grows on Paspalum, producing ergot alkaloids and the tremorgen paspalitrem; it causes "paspalum staggers" poisoning in cattle.

Tussock paspalum (P. quadrifarium) is considered a weed in Australia.[1]

Selected species[edit]

Formerly placed here[edit]

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ AWC (2008)

References[edit]

  • Australian Weeds Committee (AWC) (2008): Noxious Weed List for Australian States and Territories. Version 18.00, September 2008. PDF fulltext