Paspalum dilatatum
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
(unranked): Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Subfamily: Panicoideae
Tribe: Paniceae
Genus: Paspalum

Numerous, see text

Water Finger-grass, Paspalum vaginatum

Paspalum is a genus of the grass family (Poaceae). Commonly known as paspalums, bahiagrasses or dallis grasses most are tall perennial American grasses. They are most diverse in subtropical and tropical regions.

P. scrobiculatum (koda, varuka, varuku, etc.) is a millet locally grown as food grain. Some species, such as Bahia Grass (P. notatum) and P. nicorae, are grown for pasturage, especially with Perennial Forage Peanuts (Arachis glabrata) as companion crops. Bahiagrass has also some significance as a honey plant.

Water Finger-grass (P. vaginatum) resembles Bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon), but has a higher salinity tolerance and can consume grey water. It is not infrequently used for arena and golf course turf in warmer coastal regions, e.g. in Baja California, Florida, Peru, Texas and Venezuela. Dedicated paspalum cultivars such as 'Aloha Seashore' or 'Platinum TE' have been produced for such uses.

Bahiagrasses are also food for caterpillars of Lepidoptera such as the Pasture Day Moth (Apina callisto), or those of the Dark Palm Dart (Telicota ancilla) which feed on P. urvillei. Granivorous birds often eat paspalum seeds; the Chestnut-breasted Munia (Lonchura castaneothorax) for example is very fond of those of P. longifolium.

Claviceps paspali is a Claviceps sac fungus that grows on Paspalum, producing ergot alkaloids and the tremorgen paspalitrem; it causes "paspalum staggers" poisoning in cattle. Tussock Paspalum (P. quadrifarium) is considered a weed in Australia.[1]

Selected species

  • Paspalum azuayense
  • Paspalum arundinaceum
  • Paspalum bakeri
  • Paspalum batianoffii - extinct?[verification needed]
  • Paspalum blodgettii
  • Paspalum boscianum
  • Paspalum caespitosum
  • Paspalum clavuliferum
  • Paspalum conjugatum P.J.Bergius
  • Paspalum convexum
  • Paspalum decumbens
  • Paspalum densum
  • Paspalum dilatatum
  • Paspalum dispar
  • Paspalum distichum
  • Paspalum fasciculatum
  • Paspalum fimbriatum
  • Paspalum floridanum
  • Paspalum fluitans
  • Paspalum longifolium
  • Paspalum laeve Michx. – Smooth Paspalum
  • Paspalum laxum
  • Paspalum longifolium
  • Paspalum longum
  • Paspalum macrophyllum
  • Paspalum maritimum
  • Paspalum millegrana
  • Paspalum minus
  • Paspalum molle
  • Paspalum nicorae
  • Paspalum notatumBahia Grass, Common Bahiagrass, Pensacola Bahiagrass
  • Paspalum orbiculare G.Forst.
  • Paspalum orbiculatum Poir.
  • Paspalum paniculatum L.
  • Paspalum parviflorum
  • Paspalum paucispicatum
  • Paspalum peckii
  • Paspalum pleostachyum
  • Paspalum plicatulum – Brownseed Paspalum
  • Paspalum pulchellum
  • Paspalum pubiflorum
  • Paspalum quadrifarium – Tussock Paspalum
  • Paspalum rugulosum
  • Paspalum rupestre
  • Paspalum scrobiculatum – Koda Millet, Kodo Millet, Kodra Millet, varuka (Sanskrit), varuku (Tamil)
  • Paspalum secans
  • Paspalum setaceum – Slender Paspalum
  • Paspalum soboliferum
  • Paspalum urvillei
  • Paspalum vaginatum Sw. (= P. distichum, P. littorale) – Water Finger-grass
  • Paspalum virgatum
  • Paspalum wullschlaegelii

Formerly placed here

  • Axonopus compressus (Broad-leaved Carpetgrass), as P. compressum, P. platycaule, P. platycaulon
  • Axonopus fissifolius (Narrow-leaved Carpetgrass), as P. fissifolium
  • Digitaria exilis (Fonio), as P. exile

See also

  • Johannes Flüggé


  1. ^ AWC (2008)


  • Australian Weeds Committee (AWC) (2008): Noxious Weed List for Australian States and Territories. Version 18.00, September 2008. PDF fulltext