Brachiaria decumbens

Scientific Name Brachiaria decumbens
Synonyms Urochloa decumbens (Staph) R. D. Webster
Common Names English: Surinam grass, signal grass; German: Surinamgras; Spanish: Braquiaria decumbens
Description Low-growing, erect or decumbent, rhizomatous and stoliferous perennial, which is very similar in characteristics to Para grass (Brachiaria mutica) and Pangola grass (Digitaria decumbens).

Descriptions

Characteristic Features

Winged rachis, 1.0-1.7 mm (0.039 - 0.067 inch) wide.

Young Plant

Leaves arise from trailing stolons that root at the nodes. Leaf blades lanceolate.

Stems

Decumbent, 50-150 cm (19.68 - 59.05 inch) long, wiry.

Leaves

Bright green, moderately hairy leaves, 7-20 mm (0.27 - 0.78 inch) wide and 5-25 cm (1.97 - 9.84 inch) long.

Propagatio Organs

Flowers

Two to five racemes, 2-5 cm (0.78 - 1.97 inch) long with broad ciliate rachis and 4 mm (0.16 inch) long spikelets. Spikelets are born in two rows, and the glumes and the lower lemma are membranous in texture.

Flowering Period

Summer.

Fruit

Caryopsis.

Seeds

Germination in spring.

Viability Of Seeds

Less than 4 years.

Propagation

By seed.

Occurrence

Habitat

Open grasslands, essentially a grass of the wet tropics, but with good drought tolerance and adapted to a dry season of four or five months.

Soil

Quick-drying, shallow, hillside soils.

Additional Crop Information

Vegetables, sugarcane, soybean.

Agricultural Importance

B. decumbens forms an aggressive, high-yielding sward and has become an environmental weed by vigorously colonising disturbed environments. This weed is also replacing native plants and reducing the biodiversity (many herbivores reject B. decumbens as forage). Currently in Brazil, B. decumbens is considered a major weed in forestry, citrus, sugarcane, horse pastures, and along roadsides and is considered an important weed in other crops such as corn, soybean, and cotton.

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