PASPALUM L. Paspalum
Plants caespitose or rhizomatous or stoloniferous, annual or usually perennial. Culms erect or ascending or
decumbent, glabrous; internodes solid or hollow, terete. Leaves not differentiated into two kinds (basal
rosette absent), basal and cauline, distinctly distichous or not distinctly distichous; sheaths terete; ligules
a membrane or line of hairs; blades flat or folded. Panicles open of one to many spicate primary
unilateral branches; branches single or alternate or paired (secondary branches appressed),
terminating in a spikelet or a bare point; bristles absent below spikelet. Spikelets solitary or paired, not
embedded in branch, abaxial, planoconvex; disarticulation below spikelets; florets 2; lower
sterile and without stamens; upper fertile, nine tenths to equal lower floret length; first glumes absent
or present (when present a small scale), not fused with callus, not encircling spikelet base, awnless; second
glumes present, 0.7-1 times spikelet length, not saccate, 2-7-veined; lemma of upper florets indurate, smooth
or striate, brown to yellow, glabrous, margins involute, not differentiated at apex, awnless; palea
of upper florets present. Stamens 3; anthers tan or yellow brown or yellowish or amber or dark brown or golden
brown or purple. Base chromosome number x=10.
A tropical or subtropical genus of 300-400 species from warm habitats. The species are adapted to coastal
sands, wet pastures, margins of forests, or savannahs. Some species are weedy (P. dilatatum, P. setaceum, P.
urvillei), while others are important for livestock forage (P. notatum, P. plicatulum, P. dilatatum).