Thursday, 21 April 2016

Axonopus compressus : American Carpet Grass

Axonopus compressus (Sw.) P.Beauv.
Family : Poaceae
Subfamily : Panicoideae
Tribe : Paniceae

Axonopus compressus var. australis,
Milium compressum,
Paspalum compressum, P. platycaule, P. platycaulon.

Common Names
Cowgrass, broadleaf carpetgrass, American carpet grass, tropical carpet grass, blanket grass, lawn grass, Louisiana grass, savanna grass, Kearsney grass

Tropical America.

Tropical and subtropical regions

Shallow-rooted stoloniferous and shortly rhizomatous perennial, with glabrous, oval-section (± 3.5 x 2.5 mm) stolon internodes and bearded nodes;  forms a dense mat with foliage 15-20 cm tall, and flowering culms mostly 30-45 (-60) cm;  can be mowed to a turf. 
Leaf sheath compressed, keeled, glabrous or ±hirsute;  ligule a fringed membrane 0.5 mm long;  blades shiny, flat or folded, 4-18 mm wide, and 2-16 cm long, glabrous or hairy on the upper surface, margins ciliate, apex broadly acute or obtuse. 
Inflorescence a panicle comprising 2 or 3 (rarely 5) slender, spikelike racemes, paired or sub-digitately arranged on a long slender peduncle ;  racemes (2-) 3-7 (-10) cm long;  spikelets, 2.0-3.5 mm long, 1-1.25 mm broad, inserted alternately either side of a flattened rachis.  2.6-3.0 million seeds per kg.

Drought tolerance
Poor drought tolerance.
Tolerance to shade and heavy grazing.

Soil requirements
Adapted to well to moderately drained sandy or sandy-loam soils, but also to light clays and peats. 
Best in acid soils with pH (5.0-) 5.5-6 (-7), iron chlorosis above pH 7. 
Low tolerance of salinity (<4 dS/m).

Used as a permanent pasture, ground cover and turf in moist, low fertility soils, particularly in shaded situations.  It is generally too low growing to be useful in cut-and-carry systems or for fodder conservation .

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