Zoysia matrella (L.) Merrill
|Author: L.'t Mannetje|
Manila grass, Siglap grass, Korean grass (En). Mascarene grass (Am). Chiendent gazon (Fr). Indonesia: jukut kakawatan hijau (Sundanese), rebha sekem-sekeman (Madura), burikit (Ceram). Malaysia: rumput siglap. Philippines: damong-alat, barit-baritan (Tagalog), malakuwerdas (Pangasinan). Singapore: Siglap grass. Thailand: ya-nuannoi.
Origin and geographic distribution
Manila grass occurs naturally along the coasts of the Indian Ocean, the Chinese Sea to the Ryukyu Islands, and particularly in all South-East Asian countries. Now it is extensively cultivated pantropically (also inland).
A mat-forming perennial, often stoloniferous, rarely rhizomatous, up to 35 cm high.
Stolons to 45 cm long. Leaf-sheath hairy at the throat; ligule membranous and finely
hairy, ca. 0.25 mm long; leaf-blade lanceolate, up to 8 cm x 3 mm when expanded,
erectopatent to patent, base more or less cordately contracted into a short
pseudo-petiole. Inflorescence a terminal, spike-like raceme, up to 4 cm long, rachis
somewhat wavy; pedicels 0-3 mm long; spikelets ovoid-oblongoid, 2-3.8 mm x 1 mm; lower
glume usually absent, upper glume 5-nerved; palea absent. Caryopsis with a straight
truncate base. There is considerable variation in growth habit, rhizome development and
the shape of spikelets. Two varieties are distinquished:
Products & uses
Manila grass is used as forage on sandy soils in coastal areas where other grasses are not adapted. It is a good sand-binder and several cultivars have been released for lawns.
Z. matrella can grow up to 300 m altitude, but is primarily adapted to very sandy soils on coastal areas. It is shade tolerant and often found covering the ground under coconut plantations on sandy coastal soils. Z. matrella is adapted to wet and saline sites (Wang 1995).
Propagation and planting
It is easily established vegetatively.
Growth and development
Seedling growth is slow but after 5-8 weeks strong new shoots send out tough stolons leading to the formation of a turf mat.
Frequent grazing is required to stimulate the growth of young leaves, which are palatable to stock. It is low yielding and not suited to cutting for forage. It is grazed in coconut plantations (Wong et al. 1988). When used as a lawn grass it is frequently mown to keep it weed-free and green.
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