Thursday, April 21, 2016

Chrysopogon aciculatus : The Hated Lovegrass

Chrysopogon aciculatus (Retz.) Trin.

Synonyms
Andropogon aciculatus, A. javanicus, A. subulatus,
Centrophorum chinensis,
Chrysopogon acicularis, C. subulatus, C. aciculatus var longifolius,
Holcus aciculatus,
Raphis aciculatus. R. javanica, R. trivialis, R. zizanioides var aciculatus.

Common Names
love grass, kemuncup

Origin
Tropical Asia

Distribution
Tropical and subtropical regions

Description
A vigorous creeping grass with stout, tough rhizomes, the culms ascending to 45 cm. Inflorescence a small panicle, 7.5-10 cm long, with numerous slender branches. Spikelets narrow. Awn bristly, short and fine. The branches at first ascend almost vertically, spread obliquely at flowering and then bend upward again at fruiting. Each branch has three spikelets at its tip, one sessile and two pedicelled.

Drought tolerance
fairly drought tolerant.

Soil requirements
favours sandy acidic loams with pH 5.1-6.1.

Economics
An extremely common grass in village pasture in the plains of Asia because the prostrate, creeping stems resist overgrazing and trampling.

It used to be used as a cover for coconut plantations in the Philippines, and in Guam the straw was used for making hats and mats.

Its creeping rhizome and its capacity to resist hard grazing makes it useful for stabilizing embankments and similar sites.

Useful for rough lawns, forming a dense, hard-wearing turf, but a troublesome weed when uncontrolled because of the sharp-pointed seeds.

The seeds work through clothing and cause irritating sores.

Grazing animals suffer severely from the ripe fruits becoming attached to their hair by the sharp basal callus. By this means the fruit works its way into the flesh and causes extensive ulceration. Dogs frequently develop abscesses between the toes from the same cause, and germinating seeds of this grass can sometimes be pressed out of large bags of pus in the dog's flesh

A serious pest in north Queensland.  It is listed in USDA’s Federal Noxious Weed List 2012.


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