Although the name used for this species has been Eragrostis tenella since 1897, Nicolson et al. (in Regnum Vegetabile 119: 309 (1988)) have indicated that it should be E. amabilis. Nobody doubts that Poa tenella and Poa amabilis are conspecific, but since the epithets were published simultaneously by Linnaeus in 1753, the first authority to unite them must be followed with respect to choice of epithet. It seems that Munro did this in 1862 and chose amabilis rather than tenella.The late discovery of this fact has necessitated an inconvenient and regrettable change of name for a common pantropical species[
Cynodon amabilis (P.Beauv.) Raspail
Cyperus paniculatus Blanco
Eragrostis breviculmis H.Lév.
Eragrostis ciliaris patens Chapm. ex Beal
Eragrostis confinis Nees ex Steud.
Eragrostis despiciens (Link) Schult.
Eragrostis elytroblephara Steud.
Eragrostis laxa Baker
Eragrostis mauritii Steud.
Eragrostis plumosa (Retz.) Link
Eragrostis taffzagra Steud.
Eragrostis tenella (L.) P.Beauv. ex Roem. & Schult.
Erochloe amabilis (L.) Raf. ex B.D.Jacks
Megastachya amabilis (L.) P.Beauv.
Megastachya tenella (L.) Bojer
Poa amabilis L.
Poa despiciens Link
Poa indica Bory ex Steud.
Poa plumosa Retz.
Poa pseudamabilis Roxb. ex Stapf
Poa speciosa Willd. ex Spreng.
Poa tenella L.
Poa tenuissima Schrad.
Poa unioloides Willd. ex Spreng.
Eragrostis amabilis is a delicate, loosely clump-forming annual to perennial grass with erect or ascending, mostly unbranched culms up to 50cm tall[
The plant is sometimes harvested from the wild for local use as a food. It is sometimes grown as a lawn and ground cover.
Widely spread in subtropical and tropical areas from Africa through the Indian Ocean and Asia to the Philippines, New Guinea and western Pacific.
In sand on river banks, lake-shores and coastal dunes; also in Kalahari Sand and as a weed of disturbed ground and cultivation, at elevations up to 1,160 metres[
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The plant is a common weed of cultivated land[
]. Sometimes eaten as a cereal, it is said to be nutritious[
]. The seed is small and fiddly to utilize - it is most commonly seen as a famine food, used when nothing better is available[
Despite the plant's tendency to be annual, it has been grown as a lawn turf on the campus of University College, Cape Coast, Ghana, where self-sown seedlings maintain the sward[
]. It is also grown as a covering on the central divider of a roadway[
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