Paspalum conjugatum (POACEAE) Buffalo Grass, Carabao Grass, Sour Paspalum

Weeds to Whack

Perennial grass, stolons present; with alternating elongated and bunched internodes. Originally from the American tropics, P. conjugatum is naturalized throughout South-East Asia and in many tropical countries of the world. It is abundant in Indonesia, the Philippines and the Pacific Islands. A vigorous, creeping perennial with long stolons, rooting at nodes, with culms ascending to erect, branching, solid, slightly compressed. Leaf-blade linear or lanceolate-acuminate, glabrous (smooth) to sparsely pubescent (hairy). Inflorescence with two or occasionally three diverging racemes. Rapidly invades wet habitats from sea level to 2,000 m. It forms a dense ground cover even on acidic, low-nutrient soils. Neal (1965) noted that “some native forests have become extinct due to this pest.”

Photo: Robert Whyte