Manyatta grass, mafutiana (Kenya), akirma (Ethiopia).
Densely tufted perennial 120-150 cm high with compressed branching culms. Inflorescence
of up to ten dark grey spikes on a short axis about 6 cm long. The leaves are stiff, up to
60 cm long with sharp edges. The inflorescence consists of three to seven stiff,
one-sided, greyish-green spikes, up to 15 cm long, arising from the top 5-8 cm of the
stem. The spikelets are numerous and densely crowded along the underside of the spike.
They are 6 mm long and consist of four to five florets (Ivens, 1967).
Throughout tropical and southern Africa, in highlands of Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia.
2 000-3 000 m. It occurs at 2 600 m on the rim of Empakai Crater in the Ngorongoro
Highlands and on the south rim at an elevation of 2 970 m in Tanzania.
The 19-year average at Ngorongoro Crater is 900 mm per year. It requires a rainfall in
excess of 625 mm.
Tolerance to herbicides
Dalapon at 5 and 10 kg AI/ha and glyphosate (Roundup) at 4 kg AI/ha applied in water at
a volume rate of 300 litres per hectare with an Oxford Precision Sprayer operating at a
pressure of 2.1 kg/cm2 with size "O" fan-jet nozzles, at midday in warm, sunny,
dry, windless conditions reduced Eleusine populations within 24 hours. Dalapon at 5 kg
AI/ha following cutting and removing the cuttings was the cheapest and most effective.
This also encourages forage species. Apply only to Pennisetum clandestinum grassland.
It is avoided by stock.
Tussock grassland or open forest at altitudes above 2 300 m in East Africa.
Widely used for making baskets in Ethiopia (Westphal, 1975). It is a frequent invader
of such highland pastures in East Africa as Kikuyu or Themeda triandra where grazing is
too intensive to permit occasional burning (Ivens, 1967). Common in old cattle bomas.
Destumping by cutting out individual plants and removing them is the most effective
mechanical control with lesser beneficial results from cutting and removing and cutting
and burning the Eleusine.
Dougall and Bogdan (1960) recorded 10.5 percent crude protein, 34.8 percent crude
fibre, 6 percent ash, 2.4 percent ether extract and 46.3 percent nitrogen-free extract
from fresh material at early bloom stage in Kenya on a dry- matter basis.