Paspalum notatum Flugge
Bahiagrass, Common bahai, Pensacola bahai
Source: James A. Duke. 1983. Handbook of Energy Crops. unpublished.
- Folk Medicine
- Yields and Economics
- Biotic Factors
An important forage grass in natural pastures in Central and South America, and
used for lowland pastures elsewhere where cultivated. Essentially for pastures
only, persisting well under grazing and trampling. Recommended more for beef
than for milk production. It is noted as a drought-resistant soil binder,
producing massive stolon-root systems. Chopped stolons are rejected by sheep
unless molasses and soybean are added. Cattle, withheld from feed for 2 days,
consumed the stolons satisfactorily.
No data available.
Per 100 g, the herbage is reported to contain 28.032.9% DM (mean of 8 cases =
30.6) and ZMB: g protein (mean of 16 cases = 8.5), 1.02.1 g fat (mean of 16
cases = 1.6), 28.233.9 g fiber (mean of 16 cases = 31.6), 46.151.9 g NFE
(mean of 16 cases = 48.1), 6.012.6 g ash (mean of 16 cases = 10.2), 460520 mg
Ca, 210410 mg P (mean of 3 cases = 330), 170 mg Mg, and 1,450 mg K. Contains
as much as 28 ppm HCN. Gohl (1981) reports the following:
Low-growing, sod-forming perennial grass, from a mass of thick, short,
branching rhizomes, deep-rooted; culms erect, numerous, 25 dm long,
compressed, 1.53 mm thick on the long axis; ligule a scale 0.20.3 mm long;
leaves mostly basal, aggregated in tufts at ground level, 720 cm long, 36 mm
broad, mostly flat or folded, rather stiffly straight; panicle axis 12 mm long
or rarely up to 10 mm; racemes 2, rarely 3, subconjugate, thick, usually 312
cm long; rachis about 1 mm broad, triangular in section, the margins narrower
than the central spikelet-bearing rib; spikelets solitary, very compressed,
ovate to obovate, 2.53.8 cm long; first glume always absent; second glume and
sterile lemma glabrous, shiny. Seeds 336,030/kg (Reed, 1976).
Reported from the South American Center of Diversity, bahiagrass, or cvs
thereof, is reported to tolerate disease, drought, frost, grazing, high pH,
laterite, low pH, salt, slope, and savannah (Duke, 1978). Several geographic
races and strains are recognized in the United States. 'Argenite', developed
in Florida from Argentina, has leaves wider than those of 'Pensacola', but
narrower than those of common, is preferred by cattle, is medium
cold-resistant, making most growth during midsummer, but is very susceptible to
ergot; adapted throughout Florida and the Coastal areas of the Southern States.
'Paraguay', introduced and established early along Gulf Coast, is used to some
extent as general-purpose turfgrass. 'Paraguay 22', developed in Georgia from
Paraguay stock, used only in testing. 'Pensacola', developed in Florida from
Georgia stock, and thought to have come from South or Central America, is more
cold hardy, has narrower blades, smaller seeds, and is more responsive to
fertilizer than Common Bahiagrass; its seed-germination is excellent, with full
stands and ground cover in 812 weeks; adapted throughout southeastern Coastal
Plain and Florida. 'Tifhi l' and 'Tifhi 2' and 'Pensacola X Common' are
hybrids developed in Georgia. 'Tifhi 2' is more disease resistant than 'Tifhi
l' and yields 7% more dry forage. All are high yielders. 'Wilmington' is
perhaps the most frost resistant cv. (2x = 20; 4x = 40) (Reed, 1976).
Native to Central and South America from Mexico to Argentina. Introduced in
Florida and along Gulf Coast in United States and to East and West Africa.
Nearly throughout the West Indies (Reed, 1976).
Ranging from Cool Temperate Moist to Wet through Tropical Dry to Wet Forest
Life Zones, bahiagrass is reported to tolerate annual precipitation of 3.1 to
41.0 dm (mean of 12.7 cases = 33), annual temperature of 5.9 to 27.8°C (mean
of 33 cases = 21.0), and pH of 4.3 to 8.4 (mean of 29 cases = 6.2) (Duke, 1978,
1979). Long-day plant, adapted to tropical and subtropical areas, with
moderate to high well-distributed rainfall. Found on open ground, savannas,
and pastures, up to 2,000 m. Its deep-rooted habit helps it to withstand
considerable drought. Best grown in sandy soils with pH of 6.57.5. Responds
well to nitrogen fertilizer. Maximum tillering occurs at 2025°C. Has
survived -10°C in Australia. Temperatures below 13°C at night inhibit
flowering. Reported to tolerate 4,500 ppm NaCl in irrigaton water
(9,00027,000 greatly reduced photosynthesis and transpiration, but barely
affects respiration), and 36 days continuous flooding (Reed, 1976).
Propagated easily from seed, sown 1.32.5 cm deep on clean, well-prepared
seedbed. Germination is often slow, but improved by scarifying seed with
sulfuric acid. Optimum germination temperature is 3035°C. Seeding rates
vary from 1022 kg/ha. Growth habit makes it difficult to maintain legumes in
the sward, thus it becomes sod-bound rapidly.
Seed production is low and is often reduced further by ergot. It is normally
harvested from established pastures.
Seed yields are low. Herbage yields of 17 MT/ha are reported under irrigation
and fertilization in Australia. With 900 kg/ha N, in Rhodesia, yields were
20.7 MT in year 1, 20.4 in year 2, and 15.7 in year 3. With irrigation, yields
reached 37 MT/ha. However, yields of 45 MT/ha were considered maximum in
India and Uganda. In general, yields of 38 MT can be expected with moderate
fertilization. Beef yields of ca 200 kg/ha are reported on 'Pensacola' at
Tifton, Georgia, nearly twice the beef yields on 'Paraguay', but yields as high
as 500 kg/ha are reported. On acid infertile mineral soils in Florida, beef
production from legume/grass pastures exceeded that from grass alone. Fodder
production and N content of bahiagrass/white clover pasture without fertilizer,
yielded 11.4 MT/ha cf 11.8 fertilized with 224 kg N/ha (Blue, 1980).
According to the phytomass files (Duke, 1981b), annual productivity ranges from
2 to 37 MT/ha; 17 in Australia, 1014 in Cuba, 4 in India, 1824 in Thailand, 5
in Uganda, 212 in the US, and 2137 in Zimbabwe. Other Paspalum yields are
12 MT/ha in P. commersonii, 329 (-140) in P. conjugatum, 126
in P. dilatatum, 6 in P. guenoarum, 311 in P.
nicorae, 28 in P. plicatulum, and 2650 in P. vaginatum
(Duke, 1981b). Some species are said to fix more than 25 kg/ha/yr N.
Following fungi have been reported on bahiagrass: Cladosporium herbarum,
Claviceps paspali, C. purpurea, Fusarium heterosporum, Omphalia sp.,
Phyllachora andropogonis (P. cornispora), Puccinia substriata, Sphacelotheca
paspali-notati, Ustilago paspali. Nematodes isolated from bahiagrass
include the following: Belonolaimus longicaudatus, Helicotylenchus
cavenessi, H. dihystera, H. pseudorobustus, Hoplolaimus pararobustus,
Meloidogyne arenaria, M. graminis, M. incognita, M. incognita acrita, M.
javanica, Pratylenchus brachyurus, P. pratensis, Radopholus similis,
Scutellonema clathricaudatum, Trichodorus christiei, Tylenchorhynchus claytoni,
Xiphinema ifacolum (Golden, p.c. 1984).
|As % of dry matter|
|CP|| CF ||Ash|| EE ||NFE|
|Fresh, early bloom, Brazil|| 7.4 ||31.3 ||12.0 ||1.2 ||48.0|
|Fresh, mid-bloom, Brazil ||8.4 ||28.1 ||13.5 ||2.3 ||47.8|
|Fresh, late bloom, Lao ||13.0 ||34.5|| 6.8 ||4.0 ||41.7|
|Hay, Brazil ||12.3 ||33.5 ||11.4 ||1.4 ||41.4 |
Complete list of references for Duke, Handbook of Energy Crops
- Blue, W.G. 1980. Soil fertility management for improved pastures. Proc. Soil
Crop Sci. Soc. Fla. 39:58.
- Duke, J.A. 1978. The quest for tolerant germplasm. p. 161. In: ASA Special
Symposium 32, Crop tolerance to suboptimal land conditions. Am. Soc. Agron.
- Duke, J.A. 1979. Ecosystematic data on economic plants. Quart. J. Crude Drug
- Duke, J.A. 1981b. The gene revolution. Paper 1. p. 89150. In: Office of
Technology Assessment, Background papers for innovative biological technologies
for lesser developed countries. USGPO. Washington.
- Gohl, B. 1981. Tropical feeds. Feed information summaries and nutritive values.
FAO Animal Production and Health Series 12. FAO, Rome.
- Reed, C.F. 1976. Information summaries on 1000 economic plants. Typescripts
submitted to the USDA.
Last update Wednesday, January 7, 1998 by aw