Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Paspalum scrobiculatum
(ricegrass paspalum)

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Datasheet

Paspalum scrobiculatum (ricegrass paspalum)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 22 November 2019
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Pest
  • Host Plant
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Paspalum scrobiculatum
  • Preferred Common Name
  • ricegrass paspalum
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Monocotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • P. scrobiculata is a common weed in the tropics. It is listed as a noxious weed by USDA-APHIS (USDA-ARS, 2003) but is not widely considered to be highly i...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
P. scrobiculatum showing leaves and panicle, Rokupr Upland Farm, Sierra Leone.
TitleHabit
CaptionP. scrobiculatum showing leaves and panicle, Rokupr Upland Farm, Sierra Leone.
Copyright©Chris Parker/Bristol, UK
P. scrobiculatum showing leaves and panicle, Rokupr Upland Farm, Sierra Leone.
HabitP. scrobiculatum showing leaves and panicle, Rokupr Upland Farm, Sierra Leone.©Chris Parker/Bristol, UK
P. scrobiculatum showing panicle, Rokupr Upland Farm, Sierra Leone.
TitlePanicle
CaptionP. scrobiculatum showing panicle, Rokupr Upland Farm, Sierra Leone.
Copyright©Chris Parker/Bristol, UK
P. scrobiculatum showing panicle, Rokupr Upland Farm, Sierra Leone.
PanicleP. scrobiculatum showing panicle, Rokupr Upland Farm, Sierra Leone.©Chris Parker/Bristol, UK
Inflorescence of P. scrobiculatum.
TitleInflorescence
CaptionInflorescence of P. scrobiculatum.
Copyright©John Terry
Inflorescence of P. scrobiculatum.
InflorescenceInflorescence of P. scrobiculatum.©John Terry

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Paspalum scrobiculatum L.

Preferred Common Name

  • ricegrass paspalum

Other Scientific Names

  • Paspalum akoense Hay.
  • Paspalum auriculatum
  • Paspalum barbatum Schum.
  • Paspalum cartilagineum var. horneri
  • Paspalum commersonii Lam.
  • Paspalum horneri var. lanceolatum
  • Paspalum lamprocaryon
  • Paspalum orbiculare Forst.
  • Paspalum polystachyum R. Br.
  • Paspalum zollingeri var. bispicatum

International Common Names

  • English: creeping paspalum; ditch millet; Indian paspalum; kodo; kodo millet; rice grass; scrobic; water couch
  • Spanish: mijo koda
  • French: herbe à épée

Local Common Names

  • Germany: Kodahirse
  • India: arika; haraka; kodra
  • India/Madhya Pradesh: kondon
  • India/Tamil Nadu: varagu
  • Japan: suzumenokobie

EPPO code

  • PASSC (Paspalum scrobiculatum)

Summary of Invasiveness

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P. scrobiculata is a common weed in the tropics. It is listed as a noxious weed by USDA-APHIS (USDA-ARS, 2003) but is not widely considered to be highly invasive. It is not considered an environmental invasive on Pacific Islands (PIER, 2004).

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Monocotyledonae
  •                     Order: Cyperales
  •                         Family: Poaceae
  •                             Genus: Paspalum
  •                                 Species: Paspalum scrobiculatum

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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Clayton and Renvoize (1982) comment that P. scrobiculatum is 'a polymorphic species, but with variation apparently quite continuous; possibly a swarm of apomicts.' Some of the variants were given specific status until quite recently with P. scrobiculatum (s.s.) representing the erect annual form sometimes used as a crop, P. commersonii and P. orbiculare the more weedy perennial forms, and P. polystachyum, a particularly robust form.

Description

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P. scrobiculatum is a tufted annual or perennial grass up to 150 cm tall. Culms stout, erect, glabrous, somewhat bulbous at base, sheaths 7-14 cm long, glabrous or with sparse hairs at the collar, compressed, basal ones often purplish; ligule very short, 1 mm, membranous, but with a dense row of hairs just behind it; blades flat, 12-40 cm long, 3-12 mm wide, acute, scabrous, glaucous on upper surface. Inflorescence has four to six racemes, these are 2-4 cm long, alternate, distant, their axis 4-9 cm long, villous at base, sometimes pilose in the axils. Rachis 1-1.5 mm wide, scabrous, usually reddish on the margins; spikelets paired, 2-2.5 mm long, broadly elliptic, imbricate, glabrous. Second glume and sterile lemma 3-nerved. Fertile lemma indurated, finely pitted; caryopsis 1.5 mm long, compressed-elliptic, pale (Stone, 1970).

Plant Type

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Annual
Grass / sedge
Herbaceous
Perennial
Seed propagated

Distribution

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This species is found throughout the Paleotropics and in south-eastern USA (USDA-ARS, 2003). It is widely cultivated in India, which is probably its centre of origin. It is native to Africa, tropical Asia and Australia. The distribution in the Pacific is given in PIER (2004).

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Last updated: 25 Feb 2021
Continent/Country/Region Distribution Last Reported Origin First Reported Invasive Reference Notes

Africa

AngolaPresentNative
BeninPresentNative
BotswanaPresentNative
Burkina FasoPresentNative
CameroonPresentNative
Central African RepublicPresent
Congo, Democratic Republic of thePresent, LocalizedNativeInvasive
Congo, Republic of thePresent
Côte d'IvoirePresent, LocalizedNative
Equatorial GuineaPresent
EswatiniPresentNative
EthiopiaPresent
GabonPresent
GambiaPresentNative
GhanaPresent, LocalizedNativeInvasive
GuineaPresentNative
KenyaPresentNative
LiberiaPresentNative
MadagascarPresent
MalawiPresentNative
MaliPresentNative
MauritaniaPresentNative
MauritiusPresent, LocalizedNativeInvasive
MozambiquePresentNative
NamibiaPresentNative
NigeriaPresent, LocalizedNativeInvasive
RéunionPresentNative
SenegalPresent, LocalizedNative
Sierra LeonePresentNative
South AfricaPresentNative
SudanPresent
TanzaniaPresentNative
TogoPresentNative
UgandaPresentNative
ZambiaPresentNative
ZimbabwePresentNative

Asia

BhutanPresentNative
BruneiPresentNative
CambodiaPresent, LocalizedNative
ChinaPresent, Localized
-GuangdongPresentNative
-GuangxiPresentNative
-HainanPresentNative
-HunanPresent, WidespreadNativeInvasive
-YunnanPresentNative
Hong KongPresent, Localized
IndiaPresent, LocalizedNativeInvasive
-ChhattisgarhPresent
-KarnatakaPresent
-MeghalayaPresent
-OdishaPresent
-RajasthanPresent
-SikkimPresentNative
-Tamil NaduPresent
-Uttar PradeshPresent
-UttarakhandPresent
-West BengalPresentNative
IndonesiaPresent, LocalizedNativeInvasive
IranPresent
JapanPresent, LocalizedNativeInvasive
-Bonin IslandsPresent
LaosPresent
MalaysiaPresent, LocalizedNativeInvasive
-Peninsular MalaysiaPresent
MyanmarPresentNative
NepalPresent
North KoreaPresent, Localized
PakistanPresentNative
PhilippinesPresent, LocalizedNativeInvasive
SingaporePresent
Sri LankaPresentNative
TaiwanPresent, LocalizedNativeInvasive
ThailandPresent, LocalizedNativeInvasive
United Arab EmiratesPresent
VietnamPresent

North America

United StatesPresent, LocalizedIntroduced
-HawaiiPresent
-MarylandPresent, LocalizedIntroduced
-New JerseyPresent, LocalizedIntroduced

Oceania

American SamoaPresent
AustraliaPresent, LocalizedNativeInvasive
-New South WalesPresentNative
-Northern TerritoryPresentNative
-QueenslandPresentNative
-Western AustraliaPresentNative
Cook IslandsPresent
Federated States of MicronesiaPresent
FijiPresent, LocalizedInvasive
French PolynesiaPresent
GuamPresent
KiribatiPresent
NauruPresent
New CaledoniaPresent
New ZealandPresent
NiuePresent
Northern Mariana IslandsPresent
PalauPresent
Papua New GuineaPresent, WidespreadInvasive
Solomon IslandsPresent
Timor-LestePresent, WidespreadNative
TongaPresent
VanuatuPresent
Wallis and FutunaPresent

South America

BrazilPresent, Localized
-Rio Grande do SulPresent
-RoraimaPresent

History of Introduction and Spread

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P. scrobiculatum has been introduced to many parts of the world as an agricultural crop either as a grain crop or as a pasture species.

Habitat

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P. scrobiculatum is a common weed of wastelands and fields in the tropics. Usually found in exposed areas, but tolerant of shade. In Fiji it is abundant at elevations up to 1300 m (Smith, 1979). In Hawaii it is common on slopes in poor soils where few other grasses will grow, and in wet, swampy ground up to 1100 m (Wagner et al., 1999).

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial ManagedCultivated / agricultural land Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial ManagedProtected agriculture (e.g. glasshouse production) Present, no further details
Terrestrial ManagedManaged forests, plantations and orchards Present, no further details
Terrestrial ManagedManaged forests, plantations and orchards Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial ManagedManaged grasslands (grazing systems) Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial ManagedDisturbed areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial ManagedRail / roadsides Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial ManagedUrban / peri-urban areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalNatural forests Present, no further details
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalNatural grasslands Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalRiverbanks Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalWetlands Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
LittoralCoastal areas Present, no further details

Host Plants and Other Plants Affected

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Plant nameFamilyContextReferences
Corchorus olitorius (jute)TiliaceaeMain

    Rainfall

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    ParameterLower limitUpper limitDescription
    Mean annual rainfall00mm; lower/upper limits

    Soil Tolerances

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    Soil drainage

    • free
    • impeded
    • seasonally waterlogged

    Soil reaction

    • acid
    • alkaline
    • neutral

    Soil texture

    • heavy
    • light
    • medium

    Special soil tolerances

    • infertile
    • shallow

    Pathway Vectors

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    VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
    Soil, sand and gravel Yes

    Plant Trade

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    Plant parts liable to carry the pest in trade/transportPest stagesBorne internallyBorne externallyVisibility of pest or symptoms
    Flowers/Inflorescences/Cones/Calyx seeds
    Growing medium accompanying plants seeds
    True seeds (inc. grain) seeds

    Impact Summary

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    CategoryImpact
    Animal/plant collections None
    Animal/plant products None
    Biodiversity (generally) Negative
    Crop production Negative
    Environment (generally) Negative
    Fisheries / aquaculture None
    Forestry production Negative
    Human health None
    Livestock production Negative
    Native fauna None
    Native flora Negative
    Rare/protected species None
    Tourism None
    Trade/international relations None
    Transport/travel None

    Impact

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    Holm et al. (1991) record this species (as 'P. scrobiculatum') as a 'serious' weed in India, the Philippines, Senegal, Taiwan and Thailand, and as a 'principal' weed in Côte d'Ivoire, Korea and Mauritius; also (as 'P. orbiculare') as a 'serious' weed in Ghana; and (as 'P. commersonii') as a 'principal' weed in Malaysia, Nigeria and Swaziland.

    Risk and Impact Factors

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    Invasiveness
    • Invasive in its native range
    • Proved invasive outside its native range
    • Highly adaptable to different environments
    • Tolerates, or benefits from, cultivation, browsing pressure, mutilation, fire etc
    • Has high reproductive potential
    • Has propagules that can remain viable for more than one year
    Impact outcomes
    • Negatively impacts agriculture
    • Reduced native biodiversity
    Impact mechanisms
    • Competition - monopolizing resources
    • Pest and disease transmission
    Likelihood of entry/control
    • Highly likely to be transported internationally accidentally
    • Difficult to identify/detect as a commodity contaminant

    Uses

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    Widely cultivated as a minor millet in Africa and Asia, especially India (Senthivel et al., 1994; Anon., 1996; Ramasamy et al., 1996). Also used for forage (Bisset et al., 1974; Kitamura and Nada, 1986; Su and Lin, 1994; Compere et al., 1995) and as a feed supplement (Kapoor et al., 1987). In India, it has been used as a substrate for mushroom production (Kumar and Chandra, 1998) and for medicinal purposes (Roy and Pal, 1994).

    Uses List

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    Animal feed, fodder, forage

    • Fodder/animal feed
    • Forage

    Human food and beverage

    • Cereal

    Materials

    • Poisonous to mammals

    Medicinal, pharmaceutical

    • Traditional/folklore

    Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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    Often found in association with P. conjugatum but distinguished from it by the tufted habit and more compact flower head.

    References

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    Anon., 1996. Lost Crops of Africa. Volume 1: Grains. Washington DC, USA: National Academy Press.

    Baghel MS; Yadva HS; Tomar; MS; Verma; SNP, 1991. Intercropping of pulse and oil seeds with kodo millet in dryland. Bhartiya Krishi Anusandhan Patrika, 6(1):34-38.

    Bisset WJ; Marlowe GWC, 1974. Productivity and dynamics of two Siratro based pastures in the Burnett coastal foothills of south east Queensland. Tropical Grasslands, 8(1):17-24.

    Christopher J; Raj PS; Pillai KG, 1987. Cytomorphological studies of three species of Paspalum Linn. from South India. Cytologia, 52(3):487-491.

    Clayton WD; Renvoize SA, 1982. Gramineae (Part 3). In: Polhill RM, ed. Flora of Tropical East Africa. Rotterdam, Netherlands: Balkema.

    Compere R; Dupont J; Majerus JP; Buldgen A, 1994. Management of high-altitude grasslands on acid soils in the central region of the Zanre-Nile ridge, Rwanda. 1. Site characteristics. Bulletin des Recherches Agronomiques de Gembloux, 29(4):449-473; 9 ref.

    Dubey RK; Shukla RS; Dubey N, 1994. Association analysis in gamma treated kodo millet cv. JNK115. Journal of Soils and Crops, 4(2):113-116.

    EPPO, 2014. PQR database. Paris, France: European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization. http://www.eppo.int/DATABASES/pqr/pqr.htm

    Gupta SP; Narain U; Mohit Singh; Shukla TN, 1982. A new leaf blight of 'kondon' (Paspalum scrobiculatum L.) from India. National Academy Science Letters, 5(2):41

    Holm GL; Pancho JV; Herberger JP; Plucknett DL, 1991. A Geographical Atlas of World Weeds. Krieger, Malabar, Florida.

    Hurt CR; Hardy MB; Tainton; NM, 1993. Identification of key grass species under grazing in the Highland Sourveld of Natal. African Journal of Range and Forage Science, 10(2): 96-102.

    Jain AK, 1995. Management of head smut in kodo-millet (Paspalum scrobiculatum L.). Annals of Agricultural Research, 16(2):172-178

    Kapoor PN; Netke SP; Bajpai LD, 1987. Indian Journal of Animal Nutrition, 4(2):83-88.

    Kitamura M; Nada Y, 1986. Preliminary evaluation of 24 tropical grasses introduced into sub-tropical Japan. Journal of Japanese Society of Grassland Science, 32(3):278-280.

    Kumar S; Chandra KD, 1988. Studies on the utilization of rice bran for spawn production of Agaricus bisporus (Lange) Sing. Indian Journal of Mushrooms, 14(1-2):10-15.

    Nema AG; Kulkarni SN; Pall BS, 1979. Bacterial leaf streak of kodo (Paspalum scrobiculatum L.). Science and Culture, 45(9):365-366

    Noltie HJ, 2000. Flora of Bhutan including a record of plants from Sikkim and Darjeeling. Volume 3 Part 2. The Grasses of Bhutan. Edinburgh, UK: Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and Royal Government of Bhutan.

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    Raja VDG; Natarajan US, 1974. Occurrence of pests of kodo millet (Paspalum scrobiculatum). Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, 71(3):623-624

    Ramasamy M; Vairavan K; Srinivasan K, 1996. Production potential and economics of cereal based cropping system in red lateritic soils of Pudukkottai district. Madras Agricultural Journal, 83(4):236-239.

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    Sastry MS; Singh YP; Jain VK, 1975. Kodo poisoning in animals [Paspalum scrobiculatum]. Indian Journal of Animal Health, 14(2):183-184.

    Senthivel S; Solaiappan U; Subramanian S, 1994. Agricultural Science Digest, Karnal, 14(3-4):197-200.

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    Distribution References

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    Ahmadpour A, Castell-Miller C, Javan-Nikkhah M, Naghavi M R, Dehkaei F P, Leng Y, Puri K D, Zhong S, 2018. Population structure, genetic diversity, and sexual state of the rice brown spot pathogen Bipolaris oryzae from three Asian countries. Plant Pathology. 181-192. DOI:10.1111/ppa.12714

    Amegnaglo K B, Dourma M, Akpavi S, Akodewou A, Wala K, Diwediga B, Atakpama W, Agbodan K M L, Batawila K, Akpagana K, 2018. Characterization of grazing plant communities in the guinean zone of Togo: typology, biomass assessment, diversity, forage value and regeneration. (Caractérisation des formations végétales pâturées de la zone guinéenne du Togo: typologie, évaluation de la biomasse, diversité, valeur fourragère et régénération.). International Journal of Biological and Chemical Sciences. 12 (5), 2065-2084. https://www.ajol.info/index.php/ijbcs/article/view/181408/170804

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    Deepika Bhatt, Ravi Kumar, Tewari L M, Joshi G C, 2014. Polygonatum cirrhifolium Royle and Polygonatum verticillatum (L.) Allioni: status assessment and medicinal uses in Uttarakhand, India. Journal of Medicinal Plants Research. 8 (5), 253-259. http://www.academicjournals.org/article/article1391676171_Bhatt%20et%20al.pdf

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    GISD/IASPMR: Invasive Alien Species Pathway Management Resource and DAISIE European Invasive Alien Species Gatewayhttps://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.m93f6Data source for updated system data added to species habitat list.

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