Cynodon aethiopicus Clayton and Harlan



Common names

Giant star grass.


A large, robust, non-rhizomatous grass. C. aethiopicus has a somewhat similar inflorescence to C. plectostachyus, but the glumes are about three-fourths the length of the spikelet and the foliage is stiff and harsh, the stems woody and the stolon internodes lie flat (Harlan, de Wet & Rawal, 1970). Racemes in two to five whorls (rarely one), stiff, red or purple.


Occurs down the eastern coast of Africa from the Red Sea to the Transvaal, most densely at the Uganda-Zaire border.

Dry-matter and green-matter yields

Strickland (1976-77) recorded a range of yields from 1 000-2 000 kg/ha per month in summer and 165-500 kg/ha per month in winter from three accessions tested at Samford, Queensland (lat. 23°50'S, rainfall 813 mm).

Seed yield

Strickland (1976-77) obtained 7-15 kg/ha from one harvest in January 1977. There could have been an additional harvest.

Further reading

Strickland, 1976-77.