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Napiergrass

Elephantgrass, Merkergrass

Gramineae, or Poaceae Pennisetum purpureum Schumacher

Source: Magness et al. 1971

This is a warm-season, slightly spreading bunchgrass, introduced from Africa in 1913. In growth habit it is similar to pearl millet, forming clumps up to 10 feet tall of coarse stems and large leaves. Leaves are 2 to 3 feet long, about an inch wide.

Napiergrass requires a rich soil for best growth. It does not tolerate much frost, so culture is limited to warmest parts of mainland United States and Hawaii. It is usually propagated vegetatively; if grown from seed, it is started in a nursery and transplanted. It is grown in rows and cultivated for highest yield. In areas where adapted it is grown for green feed, silage and rotational grazing.


Last update September 17, 1997 by aw