Annual kyasuwa grass (Nigeria), bare (Mauritania), deenanath
A tall, annual, bunch grass, up to 1 m high, branched from
the base and above, leafy. Leaves 15-25 cm long by 4-10 mm wide, flat,
glabrous. Racemes cylindrical, 5-12 cm long, dense-flowered; rachis glabrous,
notched, outer bristles few, slender, short (about 3 mm long); inner bristles
numerous (longest 9 mm) densely villous below the middle. Spikelets 4 mm
long, usually solitary. It differs from P. setosum in having the inner
bristles of the involucre densely villous while in P. setosum the inner
bristles are laxly ciliate with long silky hairs (not villous) (Cooke,
Native of north tropical Africa and India.
Season of growth
In Bihar, India, it grows on a rainfall of 127 mm between June
and September, from which it can grow and produce seeds. The usual rainfall
range is 500-650 mm (Whyte, 1964).
It has good drought tolerance (Farinas, 1970). It persists
well in northern Nigeria with a dry season of seven months (Foster &
It does best on fertile, loamy soils but, with manuring, can
grow in sandy soils. It can tolerate both acidic and alkaline soils (Narayanan
& Dabadghao, 1972).
Ability to spread naturally
It spreads rapidly by self-sown seed (Whyte, 1964), regenerating
Land preparation for establishment
It needs a well-prepared moist seed-bed.
The seed is broadcast, or drilled in rows 45 cm apart in India.
Sowing depth and cover
It is either surface-sown or drilled at 1 cm.
Sowing time and rate
Just before the rainy season (May-July in India), at 1 2.2
Vigour of growth and growth
In Bihar, it is the fastest-maturing grass. The number of days
before flowering of four cultivars at Hissar, India, ranged from 105 for
cv. P.p.3 to 124 for cv. P.p.H. It flowers in August in the Sahel and remains
as standing hay through to June (Boudet & Duverger, 1961).
Response to defoliation
It can stand several cuts a year for green fodder.
It is generally used as a cut-and-carry green forage in India
at ear emergence (80-90 days).
Dry-matter and green-matter
At the Punjab Agricultural University, Hissar, India, four
cultivars of P. pedicellatum yielded from 96 207 to 109 875 kg green matter
per hectare compared with 56 607 kg from sweet Sudan grass and 36 957 kg
from sorghum (no fertilizer data given; Singh & Arora, 1970). It is
cut two or three times a season, first 80 days after germination and subsequently
at 60-day intervals. It has also yielded good hay in Nigeria and Sierra
Leone (Whyte, 1964).
Suitability for hay and
It has been made into silage in Nigeria, Sierra Leone and India
(Rains, 1963) and also into hay.
No toxicity has been recorded. The oxalic acid content of cultivar
P.p.3 at Hissar was 1.69 percent, compared with 2.5 percent for Pennisetum
americanum and 6.0 percent for P. purpureum (Singh & Arora, 1970).
Up to 2 tonnes/ha (Whyte, 1964).
In India, the Punjab Agricultural University at Hissar has
four cultivars whose characteristics are shown in Table 15.57. Variety
G.73 is very good for overseeding overgrazed pastures (Whyte, 1964).
None observed at Hissar, India.
Its early flowering, high tiller number, high leaf/stem ratio,
low oxalic acid content, and palatability (Singh & Arora, 1974).
Being an annual it provides only short-term grazing; can become
a weed of cultivation.
Optimum temperature for
It has little frost tolerance.
20°N and S.
None observed at Hissar, India.
It is very palatable to cattle in India (Banerjee & Mandel,
1974). It has a high leaf/stem ratio. It is not very palatable in the Sahel
(Boudet & Duverger, 1961).
Chemical analysis and
Banerjee and Mandel (1974) recorded 55- 77 percent total digestible
nutrients for hay in India, with 3 percent crude protein.
A secondary weedy invader of disturbed sites, road edges and
It responds well to added nitrogen (Chatterjee, Roy & Bhattacharjee,
Compatibility with other
grasses and legumes
It grows well in mixtures with Phaseolus mungo and Melilotus
alba in India (Whyte, Moir & Cooper, 1959).
Genetics and reproduction
2n=36,48,54 (Fedorov, 1974); 57 (Whyte, 1964). There is a wide
range of growth forms. It is strongly apomictic (Whyte, 1964).
Seed production and harvesting
It seeds abundantly and matures very quickly in India.
In India it is a valuable grazing grass for sheep, goats and
cattle (Bor, 1960). It is also good as a short-term ley and soil stabilizer.
In northern Australia it is a weed.
At Hissar it was used in preference to Sudan grass and sorghum
because it gave higher yields of disease- and pest-free green matter when
irrigated (Banerjee & Mandel, 1974).
Chatterjee, Roy & Bhattacharjee, 1974; Mukerji & Chatterji,
Value for erosion control
It is a valuable soil stabilizer in India.
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