Invasive Species Compendium

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Datasheet

Paspalum conjugatum
(buffalo grass)

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Datasheet

Paspalum conjugatum (buffalo grass)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 29 November 2019
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Pest
  • Natural Enemy
  • Host Plant
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Paspalum conjugatum
  • Preferred Common Name
  • buffalo grass
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Monocotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • Paspalum conjugatum is a vigorous, creeping perennial grass with long stolons and dense culms that may grow up to 1 m tall. It has been extensively introduced as a forage and lawn grass and it can now be found...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Paspalum conjugatum (buffalo grass); habit. Nihoku Mokolea Pt Kilauea Pt NWR, Kauai, Hawaii, USA. March 2013.
TitleHabit
CaptionPaspalum conjugatum (buffalo grass); habit. Nihoku Mokolea Pt Kilauea Pt NWR, Kauai, Hawaii, USA. March 2013.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Paspalum conjugatum (buffalo grass); habit. Nihoku Mokolea Pt Kilauea Pt NWR, Kauai, Hawaii, USA. March 2013.
HabitPaspalum conjugatum (buffalo grass); habit. Nihoku Mokolea Pt Kilauea Pt NWR, Kauai, Hawaii, USA. March 2013.©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Paspalum conjugatum (buffalo grass); habit. Kaapahu Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February 2009.
TitleHabit
CaptionPaspalum conjugatum (buffalo grass); habit. Kaapahu Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February 2009.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Paspalum conjugatum (buffalo grass); habit. Kaapahu Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February 2009.
HabitPaspalum conjugatum (buffalo grass); habit. Kaapahu Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February 2009.©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Paspalum conjugatum (buffalo grass); habit, in a lawn situation. Arakoon, New South Wales, Australia. June 2014.
TitleHabit
CaptionPaspalum conjugatum (buffalo grass); habit, in a lawn situation. Arakoon, New South Wales, Australia. June 2014.
Copyright©Harry Rose (Macleay Grass Man)/via flickr - CC BY 2.0
Paspalum conjugatum (buffalo grass); habit, in a lawn situation. Arakoon, New South Wales, Australia. June 2014.
HabitPaspalum conjugatum (buffalo grass); habit, in a lawn situation. Arakoon, New South Wales, Australia. June 2014.©Harry Rose (Macleay Grass Man)/via flickr - CC BY 2.0
Paspalum conjugatum (buffalo grass); habit. Makawao, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February 2007.
TitleHabit
CaptionPaspalum conjugatum (buffalo grass); habit. Makawao, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February 2007.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Paspalum conjugatum (buffalo grass); habit. Makawao, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February 2007.
HabitPaspalum conjugatum (buffalo grass); habit. Makawao, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February 2007.©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Paspalum conjugatum (buffalo grass); habit. Makawao, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February 2007.
TitleHabit
CaptionPaspalum conjugatum (buffalo grass); habit. Makawao, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February 2007.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Paspalum conjugatum (buffalo grass); habit. Makawao, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February 2007.
HabitPaspalum conjugatum (buffalo grass); habit. Makawao, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February 2007.©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Paspalum conjugatum (buffalo grass); leaves. Kaapahu Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February 2009.
TitleLeaves
CaptionPaspalum conjugatum (buffalo grass); leaves. Kaapahu Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February 2009.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Paspalum conjugatum (buffalo grass); leaves. Kaapahu Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February 2009.
LeavesPaspalum conjugatum (buffalo grass); leaves. Kaapahu Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hawaii, USA. February 2009.©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Paspalum conjugatum (buffalo grass); leaves. Kipahulu Forest Reserve, Maui, Hawaii, USA. August 2018.
TitleLeaves
CaptionPaspalum conjugatum (buffalo grass); leaves. Kipahulu Forest Reserve, Maui, Hawaii, USA. August 2018.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Paspalum conjugatum (buffalo grass); leaves. Kipahulu Forest Reserve, Maui, Hawaii, USA. August 2018.
LeavesPaspalum conjugatum (buffalo grass); leaves. Kipahulu Forest Reserve, Maui, Hawaii, USA. August 2018.©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Paspalum conjugatum (buffalo grass); sheath, margins are hairy. Leaves are generally short and broad, with a distinct midrib and two, fainter lateral veins.
TitleSheath
CaptionPaspalum conjugatum (buffalo grass); sheath, margins are hairy. Leaves are generally short and broad, with a distinct midrib and two, fainter lateral veins.
Copyright©Harry Rose (Macleay Grass Man)/via flickr - CC BY 2.0
Paspalum conjugatum (buffalo grass); sheath, margins are hairy. Leaves are generally short and broad, with a distinct midrib and two, fainter lateral veins.
SheathPaspalum conjugatum (buffalo grass); sheath, margins are hairy. Leaves are generally short and broad, with a distinct midrib and two, fainter lateral veins.©Harry Rose (Macleay Grass Man)/via flickr - CC BY 2.0
Paspalum conjugatum (buffalo grass); nodes are hairy; occasionally hairless. Arakoon, New South Wales, Australia. June 2014.
TitleNodes
CaptionPaspalum conjugatum (buffalo grass); nodes are hairy; occasionally hairless. Arakoon, New South Wales, Australia. June 2014.
Copyright©Harry Rose (Macleay Grass Man)/via flickr - CC BY 2.0
Paspalum conjugatum (buffalo grass); nodes are hairy; occasionally hairless. Arakoon, New South Wales, Australia. June 2014.
NodesPaspalum conjugatum (buffalo grass); nodes are hairy; occasionally hairless. Arakoon, New South Wales, Australia. June 2014.©Harry Rose (Macleay Grass Man)/via flickr - CC BY 2.0
Paspalum conjugatum (buffalo grass); seedhead. Flowerheads are digitate, with two fine diverging racemes (8-12cm long) that have spikelets arranged in two rows along the branches. North Bellingen, New South Wales, Australia. June 2012.
TitleSeedhead
CaptionPaspalum conjugatum (buffalo grass); seedhead. Flowerheads are digitate, with two fine diverging racemes (8-12cm long) that have spikelets arranged in two rows along the branches. North Bellingen, New South Wales, Australia. June 2012.
Copyright©Harry Rose (Macleay Grass Man)/via flickr - CC BY 2.0
Paspalum conjugatum (buffalo grass); seedhead. Flowerheads are digitate, with two fine diverging racemes (8-12cm long) that have spikelets arranged in two rows along the branches. North Bellingen, New South Wales, Australia. June 2012.
SeedheadPaspalum conjugatum (buffalo grass); seedhead. Flowerheads are digitate, with two fine diverging racemes (8-12cm long) that have spikelets arranged in two rows along the branches. North Bellingen, New South Wales, Australia. June 2012.©Harry Rose (Macleay Grass Man)/via flickr - CC BY 2.0
Paspalum conjugatum (buffalo grass); seedhead., section. Spikelets are arranged in two rows, small (1.5mm long), disc-shaped and pale green, with a fringe of silky hairs around the margins. North Bellingen, New South Wales, Australia. June 2012.
TitleSeedhead
CaptionPaspalum conjugatum (buffalo grass); seedhead., section. Spikelets are arranged in two rows, small (1.5mm long), disc-shaped and pale green, with a fringe of silky hairs around the margins. North Bellingen, New South Wales, Australia. June 2012.
Copyright©Harry Rose (Macleay Grass Man)/via flickr - CC BY 2.0
Paspalum conjugatum (buffalo grass); seedhead., section. Spikelets are arranged in two rows, small (1.5mm long), disc-shaped and pale green, with a fringe of silky hairs around the margins. North Bellingen, New South Wales, Australia. June 2012.
SeedheadPaspalum conjugatum (buffalo grass); seedhead., section. Spikelets are arranged in two rows, small (1.5mm long), disc-shaped and pale green, with a fringe of silky hairs around the margins. North Bellingen, New South Wales, Australia. June 2012.©Harry Rose (Macleay Grass Man)/via flickr - CC BY 2.0
Paspalum conjugatum (buffalo grass); seeds (ex. Indonesia, Java). Note scale.
TitleSeeds
CaptionPaspalum conjugatum (buffalo grass); seeds (ex. Indonesia, Java). Note scale.
CopyrightPublic Domain - Released by the USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database/original image by Steve Hurst.
Paspalum conjugatum (buffalo grass); seeds (ex. Indonesia, Java). Note scale.
SeedsPaspalum conjugatum (buffalo grass); seeds (ex. Indonesia, Java). Note scale.Public Domain - Released by the USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database/original image by Steve Hurst.
Paspalum conjugatum (buffalo grass); seeds adhering to a boot, showing potential for dispersion. Kahului Airport, Maui, Hawaii, USA. November 2009.
TitleInvasive pathway
CaptionPaspalum conjugatum (buffalo grass); seeds adhering to a boot, showing potential for dispersion. Kahului Airport, Maui, Hawaii, USA. November 2009.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Paspalum conjugatum (buffalo grass); seeds adhering to a boot, showing potential for dispersion. Kahului Airport, Maui, Hawaii, USA. November 2009.
Invasive pathwayPaspalum conjugatum (buffalo grass); seeds adhering to a boot, showing potential for dispersion. Kahului Airport, Maui, Hawaii, USA. November 2009.©Forest & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Paspalum conjugatum (buffalo grass); a) Leaflet; b) flower; c) pod intact; d) persistent suture after joint of pod are shed; e) seed and its cross section.
TitleMorphology
CaptionPaspalum conjugatum (buffalo grass); a) Leaflet; b) flower; c) pod intact; d) persistent suture after joint of pod are shed; e) seed and its cross section.
Copyright©SEAMEO-BIOTROP
Paspalum conjugatum (buffalo grass); a) Leaflet; b) flower; c) pod intact; d) persistent suture after joint of pod are shed; e) seed and its cross section.
MorphologyPaspalum conjugatum (buffalo grass); a) Leaflet; b) flower; c) pod intact; d) persistent suture after joint of pod are shed; e) seed and its cross section.©SEAMEO-BIOTROP

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Paspalum conjugatum P.J. Bergius

Preferred Common Name

  • buffalo grass

Other Scientific Names

  • Digitaria conjugata (P.J.Bergius) Schult.
  • Panicum conjugatum (P.J.Bergius) Roxb.
  • Paspalum africanum Poir.
  • Paspalum ciliatum Lamk.
  • Paspalum hirsutum Poir.
  • Paspalum longissimum Hochst. ex Steud.
  • Paspalum renggeri Steud.
  • Paspalum sieberianum Steud.

International Common Names

  • English: buffalo grass; carabao grass; hilo grass; sour grass; sour paspalum; T grass; yellow grass
  • Spanish: cambute; cañamazo amargo; caraconga; grama; grama de antena; horquetilla; pasta horqueta; pasto amargo; pasto de burro; pata de conejo; torourco; trensilla
  • French: herbe créole; herbe de tauère; herbe sure
  • Chinese: liang er cao

Local Common Names

  • Australia: cow grass
  • Bahamas: two-spiked paspalum
  • Brazil: capim-de-marreca; capim-forquilla; capim-gordo; capim-noxo; grama comum; grama-forquilla; grama-tê
  • Cuba: cañamazo hembra
  • Dominican Republic: cañamazo
  • Fiji: Thurston grass; ti grass; yellow grass
  • Germany: Fransenblättrige; Futterhirse
  • Haiti: z'herbe sure
  • India: banhaptia
  • Indonesia: rumput pait
  • Jamaica: Jamaican sour grass
  • Japan: ogasawara suzume no hie
  • Mexico: pata de conejo trensila
  • Philippines: bantotan; kanat-kanat; kauad-kauaran; kulape; sacate
  • Puerto Rico: horquetilla blanca
  • Suriname: buta grasse
  • Taiwan: mu-yin-chywe-bai
  • Thailand: ya-heb
  • Venezuela: paja mala
  • Vietnam: co san cap

EPPO code

  • PASCO (Paspalum conjugatum)

Summary of Invasiveness

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Paspalum conjugatum is a vigorous, creeping perennial grass with long stolons and dense culms that may grow up to 1 m tall. It has been extensively introduced as a forage and lawn grass and it can now be found naturalized across tropical and subtropical regions. P. conjugatum tolerates high levels of disturbance and pollution, grows vigorously under partial shade, spreads easily by seeds and stolons, and can withstand acidic and low-nutrient soils. Once established, this grass behaves as an aggressive weed in active pastures and agricultural lands, but also in disturbed and undisturbed natural forests and grasslands. It forms a dense ground cover that competes with and inhibits the establishment of other plant species, including other grasses and crops. In the Pacific region, it has been stated that some native forests have become extinct due to this grass pest.

Taxonomic Tree

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

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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Paspalum is a large genus with nearly 400 species, primarily distributed across the Americas with species inhabiting ecologically diverse habitats such as savannas, coastal dunes, prairies and tropical and temperate forests (Giussani et al., 2009). Centres of highest diversity have been recognized in the Brazilian Cerrados and in grasslands along Argentina, Uruguay, and southern Brazil (Zuloaga and Morrone 2005; Rua et al., 2010). A few Paspalum species are found in Africa, Asia, and Oceania, but the genus is thought to have originated in tropical South America (Rua et al., 2010). Many Paspalum species have been used as pasture in tropical and subtropical regions and some are economically important turf and ornamental grasses. P. conjugatum is easily recognized by the combination of its stoloniferous growth habit and its distinctive inflorescence, composed of a pair of widely spreading racemes with small, pale, fringed spikelets (Flora of China, 2018).

Description

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The following description is adapted from Flora of China (2018) and Flora of Panama (2018).

Perennial with long stolons. Culms in small tufts along the stolons, compressed, nearly solid, 30–60 cm (sometimes up to 1 m) tall. Leaf sheaths keeled, glabrous or pilose along upper margins and mouth, a line of hairs abaxially at junction with blade; leaf blades lanceolate-linear, thin, 5–20 × 0.5–1 cm, glabrous or papillose-pilose along margins, apex acute. Inflorescence digitate; racemes 2, divaricate, very slender, 6–12 cm; spikelets single, in 2 rows; rachis 0.5–1 mm wide. Spikelets pale yellowish, ovate to suborbicular, 1.5–1.8 mm, abruptly acute; upper glume hyaline, 2-veined with the veins marginal, ciliate along margins with long silky hairs; lower lemma similar but not ciliate; upper lemma pallid at maturity, ovate, as long as spikelet, crustaceous, obscurely striate.

Plant Type

Top of page Grass / sedge
Herbaceous
Perennial
Seed propagated
Vegetatively propagated

Distribution

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Paspalum conjugatum is native to tropical and subtropical America. It occurs naturally from the southern United States and the West Indies to South America (Clayton et al., 2018; USDA-ARS, 2018). It has been introduced in Asia, Africa, Australia and on many islands in the Pacific and Indian Oceans (Manidool, 1992; Clayton et al., 2018; GRIIS, 2018; PIER, 2018; USDA-ARS, 2018). 

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: 10 Jan 2020
Continent/Country/Region Distribution Last Reported Origin First Reported Invasive Reference Notes

Africa

AngolaPresentIntroducedClayton et al. (2018)
BeninPresentIntroducedClayton et al. (2018); Holm et al. (1979)
Burkina FasoPresentIntroducedClayton et al. (2018)
BurundiPresentIntroducedClayton et al. (2018)
CameroonPresentIntroducedClayton et al. (2018); CABI (Undated)
Central African RepublicPresentIntroducedClayton et al. (2018)
Congo, Democratic Republic of thePresentIntroducedClayton et al. (2018)
Congo, Republic of thePresent, WidespreadIntroducedHolm et al. (1979); Clayton et al. (2018)
Côte d'IvoirePresent, WidespreadIntroducedHolm et al. (1979); Clayton et al. (2018)
Equatorial GuineaPresentIntroducedClayton et al. (2018)
EthiopiaPresentIntroducedFroman and Persson (1974); Clayton et al. (2018)
GabonPresentIntroducedClayton et al. (2018)
GhanaPresent, WidespreadIntroducedHolm et al. (1979); Clayton et al. (2018)
GuineaPresent, WidespreadIntroducedHolm et al. (1979); Clayton et al. (2018)
Guinea-BissauPresentIntroducedClayton et al. (2018)
LiberiaPresentIntroducedClayton et al. (2018); Holm et al. (1979)
MadagascarPresentIntroducedClayton et al. (2018)
MalawiPresentIntroducedClayton et al. (2018)
MauritiusPresentIntroducedInvasivePIER (2018); Holm et al. (1979)
NigeriaPresent, WidespreadIntroducedHolm et al. (1979); Clayton et al. (2018)
RwandaPresentIntroducedClayton et al. (2018)
SeychellesPresentIntroducedClayton et al. (2018)
Sierra LeonePresentIntroducedClayton et al. (2018); CABI (Undated)
TanzaniaPresentIntroducedClayton et al. (2018); Clayton and Renvoize (1982)
TogoPresentIntroducedClayton et al. (2018)
UgandaPresentIntroducedClayton et al. (2018); Clayton and Renvoize (1982)

Asia

BangladeshPresentIntroducedClayton et al. (2018)
BhutanPresent, WidespreadIntroducedParker (1992); USDA-ARS (2018)
BruneiPresent, WidespreadIntroducedInvasiveHolm et al. (1979); Waterhouse (1993)
CambodiaPresentIntroducedClayton et al. (2018); Holm et al. (1979); Waterhouse (1993)
ChinaPresentIntroducedInvasiveXu HaiGen et al. (2012); CABI (Undated)
-FujianPresentIntroducedInvasiveFlora of China Editorial Committee (2018)
-GuangdongPresentCABI (Undated)Original citation: Wang et al. (1990)
-GuangxiPresentIntroducedInvasiveFlora of China Editorial Committee (2018)
-HainanPresentIntroducedInvasiveFlora of China Editorial Committee (2018); CABI (Undated)
-YunnanPresentIntroducedInvasiveFlora of China Editorial Committee (2018); CABI (Undated)
Hong KongPresentIntroducedInvasiveFlora of China Editorial Committee (2018)
IndiaPresent, WidespreadIntroducedHolm et al. (1979); Clayton et al. (2018)
-Andaman and Nicobar IslandsPresentIntroducedClayton et al. (2018)
-AssamPresentIntroducedRehel S (2011)
-KarnatakaPresentIntroducedRehel S (2011)
-KeralaPresentIntroducedInvasiveGRIIS (2018)
-Tamil NaduPresentIntroducedRehel S (2011)
IndonesiaPresentWaterhouse (1993); Holm et al. (1979);
-JavaPresentIntroducedClayton et al. (2018)
-Lesser Sunda IslandsPresentIntroducedClayton et al. (2018)
-Maluku IslandsPresentIntroducedClayton et al. (2018)
-SulawesiPresentIntroducedClayton et al. (2018)
-SumatraPresentIntroducedClayton et al. (2018)
JapanPresentCABI (Undated a)Present based on regional distribution
-Bonin IslandsPresentIntroducedInvasivePIER (2018)
LaosPresentIntroducedClayton et al. (2018); Moody (1989); Waterhouse (1993)
MalaysiaPresentIntroducedInvasiveHolm et al. (1977); Holm et al. (1979); Waterhouse (1993)
-Peninsular MalaysiaPresentIntroducedClayton et al. (2018)
-SabahPresent, WidespreadIntroducedClayton et al. (2018); Holm et al. (1979)
-SarawakPresent, WidespreadIntroducedClayton et al. (2018); Holm et al. (1979)
MyanmarPresentIntroducedInvasiveGRIIS (2018); Holm et al. (1979); Waterhouse (1993)
NepalPresentIntroducedClayton et al. (2018)
PhilippinesPresent, WidespreadIntroducedInvasiveHolm et al. (1977); Holm et al. (1979); Waterhouse (1993)
SingaporePresentIntroducedInvasiveChong et al. (2009); Waterhouse (1993)
Sri LankaPresent, WidespreadIntroducedHolm et al. (1979); Clayton et al. (2018)
TaiwanPresent, WidespreadIntroducedInvasiveHolm et al. (1979); GRIIS (2018)
ThailandPresent, WidespreadIntroducedHolm et al. (1979); Waterhouse (1993); Clayton et al. (2018)
VietnamPresentIntroducedClayton et al. (2018); Holm et al. (1979); Waterhouse (1993)

North America

AnguillaPresentNativeBroome et al. (2007)
Antigua and BarbudaPresentNativeBroome et al. (2007)
BahamasPresentNativeAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong (2012)
BarbadosPresentNativeBroome et al. (2007)
BelizePresentNativeClayton et al. (2018)
BermudaPresentNativeClayton et al. (2018)
Bonaire, Saint Eustatius and Saba
-Sint EustatiusPresentNativeBroome et al. (2007)
Costa RicaPresentNativeCABI (Undated); Holm et al. (1979)Original citation: Davidse et al. (1994)
CubaPresentHolm et al. (1979)
DominicaPresentNativeBroome et al. (2007)
Dominican RepublicPresentNativeAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong (2012); Holm et al. (1979)
El SalvadorPresentNativeCABI (Undated)Original citation: Davidse et al. (1994)
GrenadaPresentNativeBroome et al. (2007)
GuadeloupePresentNativeBroome et al. (2007)
GuatemalaPresentNativeCABI (Undated)Original citation: Davidse et al. (1994)
HaitiPresentNativeAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong (2012)
HondurasPresentNativeCABI (Undated)Original citation: Davidse et al. (1994)
JamaicaPresentNativeAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong (2012); Holm et al. (1979)
MartiniquePresentNativeBroome et al. (2007)
MexicoPresentNativeCABI (Undated); Holm et al. (1979)Original citation: Davidse et al. (1994)
MontserratPresentNativeBroome et al. (2007)
Netherlands AntillesPresentNativeBroome et al. (2007)
NicaraguaPresentNativeCABI (Undated)Original citation: Davidse et al. (1994)
PanamaPresentNativeCABI (Undated)Original citation: Davidse et al. (1994)
Puerto RicoPresentNativeAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong (2012); Holm et al. (1979)
Saint Kitts and NevisPresentNativeBroome et al. (2007)
Saint LuciaPresentNativeBroome et al. (2007)
Saint MartinPresentNativeBroome et al. (2007)
Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesPresentNativeBroome et al. (2007)
Sint MaartenPresentRojer A (1997)Listed as a weed
Trinidad and TobagoPresent, WidespreadIntroducedInvasiveHolm et al. (1979); Acevedo-Rodríguez and Strong (2012); GRIIS (2018)
U.S. Virgin IslandsPresentNativeAcevedo-Rodríguez and Strong (2012)
United StatesPresentHolm et al. (1979)
-AlabamaPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS (2018); Hitchcock (1950)
-FloridaPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS (2018); Hitchcock (1950)
-HawaiiPresent, WidespreadIntroducedInvasiveHolm et al. (1979); PIER (2018)
-LouisianaPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS (2018)
-MississippiPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS (2018); Hitchcock (1950)
-TexasPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS (2018); Hitchcock (1950)
-UtahPresentUSDA-NRCS (2018)

Oceania

American SamoaPresent, WidespreadIntroducedInvasivePIER (2018); Whistler (1983);
AustraliaPresent, WidespreadIntroducedInvasiveHolm et al. (1979); Queensland Government (2018)
-New South WalesPresentIntroducedInvasiveQueensland Government (2018)
-QueenslandPresentIntroducedInvasiveQueensland Government (2018)
-Western AustraliaPresentIntroducedInvasiveQueensland Government (2018)
Christmas IslandPresentIntroducedInvasivePIER (2018)
Cook IslandsPresentIntroducedInvasiveSpace and Flynn (2002); Purea (1985)
Federated States of MicronesiaPresentIntroducedInvasivePIER (2018)Kosrae
-ChuukPresentIntroducedInvasivePIER (2018)
-PohnpeiPresentIntroducedInvasivePIER (2018)
-YapPresentIntroducedInvasivePIER (2018)
FijiPresent, WidespreadIntroducedInvasiveHolm et al. (1979); Smith (1991)
French PolynesiaPresentIntroducedInvasiveFlorence J et al. (2013)
GuamPresentIntroducedInvasivePIER (2018)
Marshall IslandsPresentIntroducedInvasivePIER (2018)
New CaledoniaPresentIntroducedInvasiveMacKee (1994)
New ZealandPresentIntroducedInvasivePIER (2018)
NiuePresentIntroducedInvasivePIER (2018)
Northern Mariana IslandsPresentIntroducedInvasivePIER (2018)
PalauPresentIntroducedInvasiveSpace et al. (2003)
Papua New GuineaPresent, WidespreadIntroducedInvasiveHolm et al. (1979); Clayton et al. (2018)
PitcairnPresentIntroducedInvasivePIER (2018)
SamoaPresent, WidespreadIntroducedInvasiveWhistler (1983); PIER (2018)
Solomon IslandsPresentIntroducedInvasiveHenderson CP and Hancock IR (1988)
TongaPresentIntroducedPIER (2018); Whistler (1983)
VanuatuPresentIntroducedInvasivePIER (2018)
Wallis and FutunaPresentIntroducedClayton et al. (2018)

South America

ArgentinaPresentNativeClayton et al. (2018)
BoliviaPresentNativeClayton et al. (2018)
BrazilPresentNativeClayton et al. (2018); Lorenzi (1982)
-AcrePresentNativede Oliveira and Valls (2015)
-AlagoasPresentNativede Oliveira and Valls (2015); Lorenzi (1982)
-AmapaPresentNativede Oliveira and Valls (2015); Lorenzi (1982)
-AmazonasPresentNativede Oliveira and Valls (2015); Lorenzi (1982)
-BahiaPresentNativede Oliveira and Valls (2015); Lorenzi (1982)
-CearaPresentNativede Oliveira and Valls (2015); Lorenzi (1982)
-Distrito FederalPresentNativede Oliveira and Valls (2015)
-Espirito SantoPresentNativede Oliveira and Valls (2015); Lorenzi (1982)
-GoiasPresentNativede Oliveira and Valls (2015); Lorenzi (1982)
-MaranhaoPresentNativede Oliveira and Valls (2015); Lorenzi (1982)
-Mato GrossoPresentNativede Oliveira and Valls (2015); Lorenzi (1982)
-Mato Grosso do SulPresentNativede Oliveira and Valls (2015); Lorenzi (1982)
-Minas GeraisPresentNativede Oliveira and Valls (2015); Lorenzi (1982)
-ParaPresentNativede Oliveira and Valls (2015); Lorenzi (1982)
-ParaibaPresentNativede Oliveira and Valls (2015); Lorenzi (1982)
-ParanaPresentLorenzi (1982)
-PernambucoPresentNativede Oliveira and Valls (2015); Lorenzi (1982)
-PiauiPresentNativede Oliveira and Valls (2015); Lorenzi (1982)
-Rio de JaneiroPresentNativede Oliveira and Valls (2015); Lorenzi (1982)
-Rio Grande do NortePresentNativede Oliveira and Valls (2015); Lorenzi (1982)
-Rio Grande do SulPresentNativede Oliveira and Valls (2015); Lorenzi (1982)
-RondoniaPresentLorenzi (1982)
-RoraimaPresentNativede Oliveira and Valls (2015)
-Santa CatarinaPresentNativede Oliveira and Valls (2015); Lorenzi (1982)
-Sao PauloPresentNativede Oliveira and Valls (2015); Lorenzi (1982)
-SergipePresentNativede Oliveira and Valls (2015); Lorenzi (1982)
-TocantinsPresentNativede Oliveira and Valls (2015)
ColombiaPresent, WidespreadNativeHolm et al. (1979); Clayton et al. (2018)
EcuadorPresentNativeClayton et al. (2018)
-Galapagos IslandsPresentIntroducedInvasiveGRIIS (2018)
French GuianaPresentNativeClayton et al. (2018)
GuyanaPresentNativeClayton et al. (2018)
ParaguayPresentNativeClayton et al. (2018)
PeruPresent, WidespreadNativeHolm et al. (1979); Clayton et al. (2018)
SurinamePresentNativeClayton et al. (2018); Holm et al. (1979)
VenezuelaPresentNativeClayton et al. (2018); Holm et al. (1979)

Habitat

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Paspalum conjugatum grows in open places in forests, forest margins, moist grasslands and shrublands and along riverbanks, at elevations from near sea level to 1700 m (Flora of China, 2018; Useful Tropical Plants, 2019). It can be found naturalized under plantation crops, in pastures, along stream banks and ditches, at roadsides and in disturbed areas (PIER, 2018; Queensland Government, 2018; Useful Tropical Plants, 2019). It also grows in seasonally flooded places, marshes, paddy fields and draining plantations (Rehel, 2011). It often grows gregariously (Manidool, 1992Rehel, 2011; Useful Tropical Plants, 2019). 

Hosts/Species Affected

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Paspalum conjugatum is listed as a serious agricultural weed, especially important in rice, tea, rubber, African oil palm, cocoa, banana and citrus plantations, and in active cultivated pastures and vineyards (Manidool, 1992; Más and García-Molinari, 2006; Queensland Government, 2018). For example, stem diameters of rubber can be reduced 37-54% by competition with P. conjugatum (Pamplona, 1975). Soedarsan et al. (1976) noted marked competitive effects on tea within 2 months of establishment of the weed. Paspalum conjugatum is also an alternative host for crop pests and diseases, including the sugarcane leaf scald Xanthomonas albilineans (Persley, 1973).

Host Plants and Other Plants Affected

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Plant nameFamilyContext
Ananas comosus (pineapple)BromeliaceaeMain
Camellia sinensis (tea)TheaceaeMain
Citrus spp.Main
Coffea (coffee)RubiaceaeMain
Elaeis guineensis (African oil palm)ArecaceaeMain
Hevea brasiliensis (rubber)EuphorbiaceaeMain
Musa spp.MusaceaeMain
Oryza sativa (rice)PoaceaeMain
Psidium guajava (guava)MyrtaceaeMain
Theobroma cacao (cocoa)MalvaceaeMain

Biology and Ecology

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Genetics

The chromosome number reported for P. conjugatum is 2n = 20, 40, 80 (Honfi et al., 1990; Manidool, 1992; Flora of China, 2018).

Reproductive biology

There is no information on the reproductive biology of P. conjugatum; however, other closely related Paspalum species have both sexual and apomictic modes of reproduction (Cidade et al., 2013).

Physiology and phenology

In P. conjugatum, flowering starts 4-5 weeks after seedling emergence and in tropical areas flowering continues all year round (Manidool, 1992). In China, it has been recorded flowering and fruiting from May to September (Flora of China, 2018).

Environmental requirements

Paspalum conjugatum is adapted to both dry and semi-arid habitats and to wet and humid climates. It can thrive in both shaded and open, sunny conditions. It can also grow in a wide range of soils including acidic, low-nutrient soils, and both wet and drier soils (Pamplona, 1975; Somarriba and Somarriba, 1988Manidool, 1992Más and García-Molinari, 2006; Useful Tropical Plants, 2019). Flowering occurs freely and does not depend on any critical day length (Sauerborn, 1985). Optimum temperature for germination is 25-35°C (Sauerborn and Koch, 1988). Dormancy has not been detected but new seeds need light for germination (Pamplona, 1975). Viability was shown to decline after about 1 year (Sauerborn, 1985). Germination occurs mainly in the top 2.5 cm of the soil (Horng and Leu, 1978).

Climate

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ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
Af - Tropical rainforest climate Preferred > 60mm precipitation per month
Am - Tropical monsoon climate Preferred Tropical monsoon climate ( < 60mm precipitation driest month but > (100 - [total annual precipitation(mm}/25]))
As - Tropical savanna climate with dry summer Preferred < 60mm precipitation driest month (in summer) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
Aw - Tropical wet and dry savanna climate Preferred < 60mm precipitation driest month (in winter) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
Cs - Warm temperate climate with dry summer Tolerated Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry summers
Cw - Warm temperate climate with dry winter Tolerated Warm temperate climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry winters)
Cf - Warm temperate climate, wet all year Tolerated Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, wet all year

Latitude/Altitude Ranges

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Latitude North (°N)Latitude South (°S)Altitude Lower (m)Altitude Upper (m)
40 40

Air Temperature

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Parameter Lower limit Upper limit
Mean annual temperature (ºC) 15 30

Rainfall

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ParameterLower limitUpper limitDescription
Mean annual rainfall700>2500mm; lower/upper limits

Rainfall Regime

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Summer
Uniform
Winter

Soil Tolerances

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Soil drainage

  • seasonally waterlogged

Soil reaction

  • acid
  • neutral

Soil texture

  • light
  • medium

Special soil tolerances

  • infertile

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Brachycyttarus griseus Herbivore Other/All Stages not specific
Cleitodiplosis graminis Herbivore Other/All Stages not specific

Notes on Natural Enemies

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Natural enemies include the gall-forming fly Cleitodiplosis graminis and the grass bagworm (Brachycyttarus griseus) (Waterhouse, 1994).

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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Paspalum conjugatum spreads by seeds and by stolons in which new shoots are developed at every rooted node. Seeds are small and probably dispersed by humans and animals on clothing and fur (Manidool, 1992; PIER, 2018). P. conjugatum has been intentionally introduced as a forage and lawn grass (Manidool, 1992; USDA-ARS, 2018).

Pathway Causes

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CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Animal productionCultivated as forage and cut-and-carry systems Yes Yes Manidool, 1992
Crop productionWeed in crop, tree plantations and pastures Yes Yes Queensland Government, 2018
DisturbanceWeed in disturbed sites, roadsides, ruderal areas, etc Yes Yes PIER, 2018
Escape from confinement or garden escapeEscaped from cultivation/pastures/lawns Yes Yes Queensland Government, 2018
ForageCultivated as forage and cut-and-carry systems Yes Yes Manidool, 1992
Garden waste disposalSeeds and stem fragments in garden waste dumps Yes Yes Manidool, 1992
Habitat restoration and improvementPlanted for erosion control in plantations Yes Yes Manik et al., 2002
Intentional releaseCultivated as forage and cut-and-carry systems and lawn grass Yes Yes Manidool, 1992
Medicinal useUsed as medicinal herb Yes Yes Manidool, 1992
Ornamental purposesPlanted as lawn grass Yes Yes Manidool, 1992

Pathway Vectors

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VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Clothing, footwear and possessionsSeeds Yes Yes PIER, 2018
Debris and waste associated with human activitiesSeeds and stem fragments from gardens, pastures and agricultural lands Yes Yes Manidool, 1992
LivestockSeeds adhered to animal fur Yes Yes Manidool, 1992
Host and vector organismsSeeds adhered to animal fur Yes Yes PIER, 2018

Economic Impact

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Paspalum conjugatum is an aggressive weed in plantation crops, orchards, vineyards, paddy fields and active cultivated pastures across tropical and subtropical regions. It grows vigorously under partial shade and may compete seriously with tree crops (PIER, 2018; Manidool, 1992Queensland Government, 2018).

Environmental Impact

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In Australia, P. conjugatum is listed as a serious weed of cultivated lands, orchards, vineyards, irrigation channels, parks, lawns, roadsides, disturbed sites, waste areas and pastures. It also invades natural vegetation such as rainforest gaps and margins, watercourses and riparian areas (Queensland Government, 2018).

In Hawaii and other islands in the Pacific region, P. conjugatum is an invasive grass that rapidly colonizes and dominates wet habitats and forms a dense ground cover even on acidic, low-nutrient soils. It has been stated that some native forests on this region have become extinct due to this grass pest (PIER, 2018).

Threatened Species

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Threatened SpeciesConservation StatusWhere ThreatenedMechanismReferencesNotes
Peucedanum sandwicense (makou)NatureServe; USA ESA listing as threatened speciesHawaiiCompetition (unspecified)US Fish and Wildlife Service, 2011a
Phyllostegia glabra var. lanaiensis (ulihi phyllostegia)USA ESA listing as endangered speciesHawaiiCompetition - monopolizing resourcesUS Fish and Wildlife Service, 1995
Phyllostegia knudsenii (Waimea phyllostegia)NatureServe; USA ESA listing as endangered speciesHawaiiCompetition (unspecified)US Fish and Wildlife Service, 2009b
Phyllostegia wawrana (fuzzystem phyllostegia)NatureServe; USA ESA listing as endangered speciesHawaiiCompetition - monopolizing resourcesUS Fish and Wildlife Service, 2009a
Pittosporum napaulenseNo DetailsHawaiiCompetition - monopolizing resources; Competition - smotheringUS Fish and Wildlife Service, 2009a
Platydesma rostrataCR (IUCN red list: Critically endangered); USA ESA listing as endangered speciesHawaiiCompetition - monopolizing resources; Competition - smotheringUS Fish and Wildlife Service, 2009a
Pritchardia viscosa (stickybud pritchardia)CR (IUCN red list: Critically endangered); USA ESA listing as endangered speciesHawaiiCompetition - stranglingUS Fish and Wildlife Service, 1998
Psychotria hobdyi (Hobdy's wild-coffee)USA ESA listing as endangered species; USA ESA listing as endangered speciesHawaiiCompetition - stranglingUS Fish and Wildlife Service, 2010
Schiedea hookeri (sprawling schiedea)CR (IUCN red list: Critically endangered); USA ESA listing as endangered speciesHawaiiCompetition - monopolizing resources; Ecosystem change / habitat alterationUS Fish and Wildlife Service, 2011b
Schiedea kauaiensis (Kauai schiedea)CR (IUCN red list: Critically endangered); USA ESA listing as endangered speciesHawaiiCompetition - monopolizing resourcesUS Fish and Wildlife Service, 2008a
Schiedea nuttalliiCR (IUCN red list: Critically endangered); USA ESA listing as endangered speciesHawaiiCompetition - monopolizing resources; Competition - smotheringUS Fish and Wildlife Service, 2009d
Pteris lidgatei (Lidgate's brake)CR (IUCN red list: Critically endangered); USA ESA listing as endangered speciesHawaiiCompetition - monopolizing resourcesUS Fish and Wildlife Service, 2009c
Viola helenae (Wahiawa stream violet)CR (IUCN red list: Critically endangered); USA ESA listing as endangered speciesHawaiiCompetition (unspecified); Ecosystem change / habitat alterationUS Fish and Wildlife Service, 2008b

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Has a broad native range
  • Abundant in its native range
  • Highly adaptable to different environments
  • Is a habitat generalist
  • Tolerates, or benefits from, cultivation, browsing pressure, mutilation, fire etc
  • Pioneering in disturbed areas
  • Tolerant of shade
  • Highly mobile locally
  • Benefits from human association (i.e. it is a human commensal)
  • Long lived
  • Fast growing
  • Has high reproductive potential
  • Gregarious
  • Reproduces asexually
Impact outcomes
  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
  • Monoculture formation
  • Negatively impacts agriculture
  • Reduced native biodiversity
  • Threat to/ loss of native species
  • Damages animal/plant products
Impact mechanisms
  • Competition - monopolizing resources
  • Competition - smothering
  • Competition - strangling
  • Herbivory/grazing/browsing
  • Rapid growth
  • Rooting
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally accidentally
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately
  • Difficult to identify/detect as a commodity contaminant
  • Difficult to identify/detect in the field
  • Difficult/costly to control

Uses

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Paspalum conjugatum is used as forage or in cut-and-carry systems (Beetle, 1974). It is occasionally used as a lawn grass. The Iban of Borneo use leaf decoctions in the treatment of wounds and sores, and in the Sepik area of Papua New Guinea crushed spikelets are used for the same purpose (Rehel, 2011; Manidool, 1992). In the Philippines, P. conjugatum and Cynodon dactylon are used as organic bio-fertilizer in lettuce plantations (Janssen and Abug, 2017). In Indonesia, P. conjugatum and other natural weeds have been used as cover crops under coffee trees to control soil erosion (Manik et al., 2002).

Uses List

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Animal feed, fodder, forage

  • Fodder/animal feed
  • Forage

Environmental

  • Amenity
  • Erosion control or dune stabilization

Medicinal, pharmaceutical

  • Traditional/folklore

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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A number of other Paspalum species have somewhat similar inflorescence, but these rarely have the same spreading habit and confusion is unlikely.

Prevention and Control

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Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.

Paspalum conjugatum is suppressed by nitrogen application in pastures (Caille, 1994) but is not suppressed by slashing or sheep grazing (Ahmad-Faiz, 1992). In sufficiently humid situations, legume cover crops are the main means of control in rubber, oil palm, etc. Some legumes may have an allelopathic effect on the weed as well as shading it (Sahid et al., 1993). Increasing soil temperature by solarization has given good suppression for up to 3 months (Ragone and Wilson, 1988).

Chemical Control

Herbicides such as MSMA, DSMA, dicamba, bromacil, paraquat, metsulfuron, glyphosate and amitrole have been used to control P. conjugatum when growing as a weed in crops and pastures (Donado and Fullerton, 1974; Wuan et al., 1982; Pamplona, 1975Sandbrink et al., 1993; Purea, 1985; Lee, 1984;.Chung and Chang, 1990; Teng and Teh, 1990).

References

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Distribution References

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Xu HaiGen, Qiang Sheng, Genovesi P, Ding Hui, Wu Jun, Meng Ling, Han ZhengMin, Miao JinLai, Hu BaiShi, Guo JiangYing, Sun HongYing, Huang Cheng, Lei JunCheng, Le ZhiFang, Zhang XiaoPing, He ShunPing, Wu Yi, Zheng Zhou, Chen Lian, Jarošík V, Pyšek P, 2012. An inventory of invasive alien species in China. NeoBiota. 1-26. http://www.pensoft.net/journals/neobiota/article/3575/an-inventory-of-invasive-alien-species-in-china

Links to Websites

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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.

Contributors

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24/07/2018 Updated by:

Julissa Rojas-Sandoval, Department of Botany, Smithsonian NMNH, Washington DC, USA

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