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Useful Tropical Plants

Brachiaria mutica

(Forssk.) Stapf

Poaceae


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[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].
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[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
]..

+ Synonyms

Brachiaria numidiana (Lam.) Henrard

Brachiaria purpurascens (Raddi) Henrard

Digitaria mauritiana Henrard

Digitaria mauritiana Wall. ex Hook.f.

Panicum amphibium Steud.

Panicum barbinode Trin.

Panicum equinum Salzm. ex Steud.

Panicum guadaloupense Steud. [Invalid]

Panicum leiogonum Sieber ex Link [Invalid]

Panicum limnaeum Steud.

Panicum muticum Forssk.

Panicum numidianum Lam.

Panicum paraguayense Steud. ex Döll [Invalid]

Panicum pictigluma Steud.

Panicum punctulatum Arn. ex Steud.

Panicum purpurascens Raddi

Urochloa mutica (Forssk.) T.Q.Nguyen

Common Name: Giant Couch

No Image.

General Information

Brachiaria mutica is an evergreen, perennial grass spreading freely from a vigorous, stoloniferous rootstock to form a colony of culms 100 - 200cm tall. The stout culms have a trailing habit, they often root at the lower nodes. A vigorous plant, individual stolons can be up to 5 metres long[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
,
1040
Title
The Wild Relatives of Rice, A Genetic Resources Handbook
Publication
 
Author
Vaughan D.A.
Website
http://irri.org/
Publisher
International Rice Research Institute; Philippines
Year
1994
ISBN
971-22-0057-4
Description
An excellent guide to the wild species of the genus Oryza. It gives good descriptions of the species, habitats etc and often gives details of uses. It can be downloaded from the Internet
].
This is a forage grass (Para Grass) widely cultivated in tropical regions of the world and often found as a naturalized escape. It is often used as a ground cover and soil stabilizer.
This species has been introduced throughout much of the tropics and may still be spreading, it is not subject to any known threat. The plant is classified as 'Least Concern' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2013)[
338
Title
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A list of plants under threat and facing possible extinction, usually with brief details of the threats and information on habitat.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
,
1140
Title
Brachiaria, Urochloa (Gramineae-Paniceae) in Malesia
Publication
Blumea 41 pp 413-437 1996
Author
Veldkamp J.F.
Publisher
 
Year
1996
ISBN
 
Description
A paper transferring various Brachiaria species to Urochloa, it also gives information on plant uses.

Range

Probably originating in Tropical Africa, it has spread through cultivation to be a weed of many regions in the tropical and warm temperate zones

Habitat

Swampy and wet places such as marshes, rice fields ,ditches and riversides, sometimes forming floating mats; also in open, more or less lightly shaded places such as coconut plantations; sandy beaches; at elevations up to 1,530 metres[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
,
1140
Title
Brachiaria, Urochloa (Gramineae-Paniceae) in Malesia
Publication
Blumea 41 pp 413-437 1996
Author
Veldkamp J.F.
Publisher
 
Year
1996
ISBN
 
Description
A paper transferring various Brachiaria species to Urochloa, it also gives information on plant uses.
].

Properties

Weed PotentialYes
Conservation StatusLeast Concern
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitEvergreen Perennial
Height1.50 m
PollinatorsWind
Cultivation StatusCultivated

Cultivation Details

Brachiaria mutia is a plant of the warm, moist tropics, usually at low elevations[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 21 - 30°c, but can tolerate 15 - 46°c[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,200 - 2,000mm, but tolerates 900 - 4,100mm[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].It prefers to grow in flat, poorly drained, seasonal floodplains or high rainfall environments (tolerating a mean annual rainfall from 870 - 4,100mm) in tropical and subtropical regions of the world[
1093
Title
Invasive Species Compendium
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.cabi.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An immense resource - in depth information on over 900 species of invasive plants (it also has information on animals, fungi etc).
]. It is also adapted to high temperatures (20 - 35°c), but growth is restricted by temperatures below 15°c[
1093
Title
Invasive Species Compendium
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.cabi.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An immense resource - in depth information on over 900 species of invasive plants (it also has information on animals, fungi etc).
].
Prefers a position in full sun, tolerating light shade. The plant grows best in poorly drained (swampy or periodically waterlogged) soils and other wet sites, also succeeding in well-drained soils in areas of high rainfall. It can grow in water up to 120cm deep in the tropics[
338
Title
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A list of plants under threat and facing possible extinction, usually with brief details of the threats and information on habitat.
]. It is well adapted to a wide range of soil types, from sandy to clay, preferring soils of medium to high fertility[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. It is tolerant of moderate salinity, a low pH down to 4.5 and the high levels of trace elements normally produced under water-logged conditions[
1093
Title
Invasive Species Compendium
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.cabi.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An immense resource - in depth information on over 900 species of invasive plants (it also has information on animals, fungi etc).
]. Plants are probably tolerant of maritime exposure[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
,
1140
Title
Brachiaria, Urochloa (Gramineae-Paniceae) in Malesia
Publication
Blumea 41 pp 413-437 1996
Author
Veldkamp J.F.
Publisher
 
Year
1996
ISBN
 
Description
A paper transferring various Brachiaria species to Urochloa, it also gives information on plant uses.
]. Prefers a pH in the range 5 - 6, tolerating 4.3 - 7.7[
418
Title
Ecocrop
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ecocrop.fao.org/ecocrop/srv/en/home
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Basic information on a wide range of useful plants, plus details of environmental needs where available.
].
Brachiaria mutica is a fast-growing perennial grass, capable of forming very dense infestations that smother riverbanks, wetlands, and floodplain vegetation, and also floating out over the water surface which reduces areas available for waterfowl and water-birds. It is widely naturalized in tropical and subtropical regions of the world where it was originally introduced as a fodder grass. Now, this species is considered one of the world’s worst weeds in areas such as the United States, Australia, Mexico, and Central America. It has been intentionally introduced as a pasture grass because its ability to establish on poorly drained (swampy or seasonally waterlogged) soils as well on free-draining soils in high rainfall environments. It competes aggressively with other plants, with fast growth, high productivity, and allelopathic abilities that allow it to form dense stands[
1093
Title
Invasive Species Compendium
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.cabi.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An immense resource - in depth information on over 900 species of invasive plants (it also has information on animals, fungi etc).
]. The plant can become a weed in irrigation ditches and drains[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
The plant is a short-day species that flowers most prolifically in humid tropical environments at latitudes from 10 - 20° north and south. Little or no flowering takes place at subtropical latitudes[
1093
Title
Invasive Species Compendium
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.cabi.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An immense resource - in depth information on over 900 species of invasive plants (it also has information on animals, fungi etc).
].

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

None known

Agroforestry Uses:

The plant is used as a ground cover in coconut and sugarcane plantations, though once established it is difficult to eradicate[
1140
Title
Brachiaria, Urochloa (Gramineae-Paniceae) in Malesia
Publication
Blumea 41 pp 413-437 1996
Author
Veldkamp J.F.
Publisher
 
Year
1996
ISBN
 
Description
A paper transferring various Brachiaria species to Urochloa, it also gives information on plant uses.
].
It is used in reclamation areas, sand dunes etc to prevent soil erosion, but once present, it can be difficult to eradicate[
1140
Title
Brachiaria, Urochloa (Gramineae-Paniceae) in Malesia
Publication
Blumea 41 pp 413-437 1996
Author
Veldkamp J.F.
Publisher
 
Year
1996
ISBN
 
Description
A paper transferring various Brachiaria species to Urochloa, it also gives information on plant uses.
]. It is particularly suited to erosion control along river banks[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

Seed -

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