Aucher's grass (Kenya).
Tufted perennial up to 50 cm high with slender, wiry culms.
Panicle spreading, with orange-haired spikelets in triads on slender peduncles;
sessile spikelets 5-6 mm long with a geniculate awn from the lemma and
a straight plumose bristle from the upper glume; pedicelled spikelets green,
about as long as the sessile ones, with a plumose bristle from each glume
(Napper, 1965). It forms low cushions.
Afghanistan, Pakistan (Sind, Baluchistan), Iraq, Iran, Somalia,
Season of growth
Sea-level to 2 000 m.
This grass will grow in rainfalls of 250 mm to 625 mm a year.
Excellent, extending into the low-rainfall, annual-grass, semi-
desert area of northern Kenya (Bogdan & Pratt, 1967).
It prefers sandy soils or lava ash, but grows on rocky ground
Sowing time and rate
Summer at 2.5 kg/ha.
Number of seeds per kg.
About 450 000 pure seeds.
Dry-matter and green-matter
It has not been tested for these details.
None have been registered. An unusually large form from Karpeddo,
Baringo, is bulk-seeded at Marigat, Kenya.
Optimum temperature for
Probably about 30-35°C.
It probably has little frost tolerance.
About 30°N to 10°S latitude.
It is a leafy grass, highly palatable to animals.
Dry, gravelly, often rather alkaline soils with grass or semi-desert
Genetics and reproduction
2n=40 (Fedorov, 1974).
Seed production and harvesting
It is a poor seeder and this is accentuated by shedding of
the ripe spikelets. The "seed" consists of a raceme with three spikelets,
only one of them with a caryopsis (Bogdan & Pratt, 1967).
It is an important grazing grass in arid regions. It is the
dominant grass growing on aridisols high in gypsum in Somalia, and is important
in the arid rangeland in Kenya, and in dry areas of Uganda.
It is a leafy grass of high nutritive value, well liked by
Bogdan & Pratt, 1967.
Tolerance to salinity
Occurs on dry, gravelly, often rather alkaline soils.