The genera Brachiaria and Urochloa are closely related, and the two are united by some authors. See Veldkamp, Taxon 45 (1986) 319. However, this unification is not accepted by all authors - see Flora of China Vol 22 pp520-523 2006. We are following the treatment in the Flora of China and the Kew 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families', and treating the two genera as distinct[
Brachiaria and Urochloa are distinguished mainly by habit, Urochloa having rather more flattened, cuspidate spikelets enclosing a pronounced mucro from the upper lemma. The different spikelet orientation is also characteristic, though not obvious when the spikelets are paired. In Urochloa the lower glume faces outward, whereas in Brachiaria it lies against the rachis[
Brachiaria clavuliseta Chiov.
Brachiaria glycerioides Chiov.
Brachiaria regularis (Nees) Stapf
Brachiaria stapfiana Basappa & Muniy.
Panicum clavulisetum Chiov.
Panicum deflexum Schumach.
Panicum glycerioides Chiov.
Panicum nudiglume Hochst.
Panicum petiveri nudiglume (Hochst.) Chiov.
Panicum petiveri robustissimum Chiov.
Panicum ramosum deflexum (Schumach.) Peter
Panicum regulare Nees
Panicum ruprechtii E.Fourn. ex Hemsl.
Panicum sorghi Delile
Pseudobrachiaria deflexa (Schumach.) Launert
Urochloa deflexa (Schumach.) H.Scholz
Brachiaria deflexa is a loosely tufted annual grass, the culms often weakly ascending, growing 15 - 125cm tall[
The edible seed is harvested from the wild for local use, especially in times of food shortage. When occurring as a weed, the plant is also often allowed or even encouraged to remain in cultivated ground, and it is also occasionally cultivated. This is a food plant that could be suitable for larger scale cultivation since it has the potential for further selection[
Africa - widespread from Mauritania to Somalia, south to S. Africa; through Arabia and western Asia to Pakistan and India.
Cultivated and disturbed land, waste places in deciduous bush and margins of riverine forest with some shade, at elevations up to 1,500 metres[
]. Weedy places, preferring light shade; at elevations up to 1,100 metres[
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Semi-cultivated, Wild
Prefers a slightly shady location[
]. Grows best in a well-drained, fertile soil[
]. Established plants are drought tolerant[
The plant is a common weed of cultivation within its native range, being found in arable land, under plantation crops and in flower gardens[
Some types mature in as little as 70 - 75 days, but most types take 90 - 130 days to reach maturity[
The plant can be considered as one of the ‘kreb’ group of grasses, which includes species such as Echinochloa pyramidalis and Panicum turgidum[
]. These species occur in the Sahel region and are collected for human consumption, especially in times of food shortage[
The plant is somewhat similar to another grain crop, Digitaria exilis, though this species grows faster than D. Exilis, but requires a richer soil and better drainage[
The wild plant shows some variability, and in the Fouta Djallon area on the Guinea-Mali border a cultivar is grown that is non-shattering[
Seed - cooked[
]. The soft grain grinds easily to make a flour that is used to make cakes and batter[
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