Panicum coloratum

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Panicum coloratum
Panicum coloratum.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
(unranked): Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Panicum
Species: P. coloratum
Binomial name
Panicum coloratum

Panicum coloratum is a species of grass known by the common names kleingrass, blue panicgrass[1] (USA),[2][3] white buffalograss (southern Africa);[1] Bambatsi panic, makarikari grass,[2] and coolah grass (Australia).[1] It is native to Africa,[3] and it has been introduced elsewhere, such as the United States and Australia, and bred into many cultivars.[1]

This plant is variable in appearance.[1] In general, is a perennial bunchgrass which usually has rhizomes. The firm, usually erect stems grow up to 1.4 meters tall. The leaf blades are 10 to 30 centimeters long.[4] They are green to a waxy blue-green color.[1] The panicles are variable in length.[4] The spikelets are green and purple.[1]

This grass is used as a pasture grass and to make hay.[1] It produces a large amount of forage for animals.[3] It is drought-tolerant and does well in hot climates.[5] This C4 plant can grow on saline soils[6] and requires an amount of sodium for effective photosynthesis.[7][8] Different cultivars have varying tolerances of sodium.[9] While it makes a good graze for animals, the grass has occasionally been associated with liver damage and photosensitivity in young ruminants and horses.[3][10][11] This photosensitivity can lead to sunburn, which causes swelling of the head and ears of the animal, a condition commonly called "swellhead".[12]

Cultivars include 'Pollock', 'Bambatsi',[2] 'Bushman Mine', 'Verde',[1] and 'Kabulabula'.[8]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Panicum coloratum. Tropical Forages.
  2. ^ a b c Bambatsi Panic. Government of Western Australia Department of Agriculture and Food.
  3. ^ a b c d Panicum coloratum. USDA NRCS Plant Fact Sheet.
  4. ^ a b Panicum coloratum. Archived 2012-12-15 at Grass Manual Treatment.
  5. ^ Blake, C. Kleingrass gains ground in desert ag. Western Farm Press September 3, 2009.
  6. ^ Behling, A. Kleingrass catches on. Archived 2010-11-25 at the Wayback Machine. Hay and Forage Grower February 1, 2001.
  7. ^ Murata, S. and J. Sekiya. (1992). Effects of sodium on photosynthesis in Panicum coloratum. Plant Cell Physiol 33(8) 1239-42.
  8. ^ a b Matoh, T. and S. Murata. (1990). Sodium stimulates growth of Panicum coloratum through enhanced photosynthesis. Plant Physiol 92 1169-73.
  9. ^ Taleisnik, E., et al. (1998). Salinity effects on the early development stages of Panicum coloratum: Cultivar differences. Grass and Forage Science 53(3) 270-78.
  10. ^ Hepatotoxic Plants. Merck Veterinary Manual.
  11. ^ Bridges, C. H., et al. (1987). Kleingrass (Panicum coloratum L.) poisoning in sheep. Vet Pathol 24(6) 525-31.
  12. ^ Sheep, goat producers should watch for kleingrass problems. Archived 2015-08-28 at the Wayback Machine. Livestock Weekly

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