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Useful Tropical Plants

Gynerium sagittatum

(Aubl.) P.Beauv.

Poaceae

+ Synonyms

Aira gigantea Steud.

Arundo fastuosa Willd. ex Steud.

Arundo rugii Molina

Arundo saccharoides (Humb. & Bonpl.) Poir

Arundo sagittata (Aubl.) Pers.

Cynodon gynerium Raspail

Gynerium levyi E.Fourn.

Gynerium parviflorum Nees

Gynerium procerum P.Beauv.

Gynerium saccharoides Humb. & Bonpl.

Saccharum sagittatum Aubl.

Common Name: Uva Grass

Gynerium sagittatum
Growing plant
Photograph by: Cirilo Nelson
Creative Commons License
Gynerium sagittatum Gynerium sagittatum Gynerium sagittatum

General Information

Uva grass is a large, stout grass that usually grow 3 - 6 metres tall, sometimes to 10 metres or more. It produces large, usually unbranched, clumps of culms 2 - 4cm in diameter from large, creeping rhizomes[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
,
692
Title
Wildland Shrubs of the United States and its Territories: Thamnic Descriptions
Publication
 
Author
Francis J.K. (Editor)
Website
http://www.fs.fed.us/global/iitf/wildland_shrubs.htm
Publisher
USDA; Forest Service International Institute of Tropical Forestr
Year
2000
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent series of papers, in PDf format, from various authors giving quite detailed information on a range of shrubs growing in the United States and its Territories. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a source of materials and medicines. It is also sometimes cultivated for its culms in parts of S. America[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
]. The plumes are used for dry floral arrangements[
692
Title
Wildland Shrubs of the United States and its Territories: Thamnic Descriptions
Publication
 
Author
Francis J.K. (Editor)
Website
http://www.fs.fed.us/global/iitf/wildland_shrubs.htm
Publisher
USDA; Forest Service International Institute of Tropical Forestr
Year
2000
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent series of papers, in PDf format, from various authors giving quite detailed information on a range of shrubs growing in the United States and its Territories. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
,
315
Title
Flora of Barro Colorado Island
Publication
 
Author
Croat. Thomas B.
Website
http://biogeodb.stri.si.edu/bioinformatics/croat/home
Publisher
Stanford University Press
Year
1978
ISBN
0-8047-0950-5
Description
A very good flora of an area in Panama. Written some years ago, so some of the names have been changed. The book is out of print, but the whole flora is now available on the web.
,
331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/

Range

S. America - Argentina and Paraguay, north through S. America to the Caribbean and through Central America to Guatemala.

Habitat

Rocky thickets, gravel bars, along rivers, and in rocky, brushy stream beds, at elevations of 300 - 700 metres[
331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/
].

Properties

Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitPerennial
Height4.00 m
Growth RateFast
PollinatorsWind
Self-fertileNo
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Wild

Cultivation Details


An aquatic plant; it grows best in a moisture-retentive, fertile, humus-rich soil, or in in shallow water, and a position in full sun[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
Plants can produce large lateral runners which may extend for considerable distances[
315
Title
Flora of Barro Colorado Island
Publication
 
Author
Croat. Thomas B.
Website
http://biogeodb.stri.si.edu/bioinformatics/croat/home
Publisher
Stanford University Press
Year
1978
ISBN
0-8047-0950-5
Description
A very good flora of an area in Panama. Written some years ago, so some of the names have been changed. The book is out of print, but the whole flora is now available on the web.
]. Horizontal runners or rhizomes, both surface or underground, are constantly active and establish new plants or clumps as far as 20 metres from the parent plant[
692
Title
Wildland Shrubs of the United States and its Territories: Thamnic Descriptions
Publication
 
Author
Francis J.K. (Editor)
Website
http://www.fs.fed.us/global/iitf/wildland_shrubs.htm
Publisher
USDA; Forest Service International Institute of Tropical Forestr
Year
2000
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent series of papers, in PDf format, from various authors giving quite detailed information on a range of shrubs growing in the United States and its Territories. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. If not controlled, the plant slowly invades wet bottomland pastures and eliminates forage plants. Periodic mowing appears to be adequate for control of advancing clumps[
692
Title
Wildland Shrubs of the United States and its Territories: Thamnic Descriptions
Publication
 
Author
Francis J.K. (Editor)
Website
http://www.fs.fed.us/global/iitf/wildland_shrubs.htm
Publisher
USDA; Forest Service International Institute of Tropical Forestr
Year
2000
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent series of papers, in PDf format, from various authors giving quite detailed information on a range of shrubs growing in the United States and its Territories. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
Growth of uva grass is rapid. Nursery seedlings reached heights of 20,
30
Title
Butterflies and Moths in Britain and Europe.
Publication
 
Author
Carter D.
Publisher
Pan
Year
1982
ISBN
0-330-26642-x
Description
An excellent book on Lepidoptera, it also lists their favourite food plants.
, and 50 cm after 1,
2
Title
Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Hedrick. U. P.
Publisher
Dover Publications
Year
1972
ISBN
0-486-20459-6
Description
Lots of entries, quite a lot of information in most entries and references.
, and 4 months. How long seedlings take to reach maturity and how rapidly suckers grow is unknown. Theoretically, baring catastrophes and invasion and shading by trees, individual plants can endure indefinitely. Culms of Amazon Basin plants produced close to 200 leaves during their lifetimes, having from 19 to 28 living leaves at a time. Unbranched culms die after flowering, but only the branches of branched culms die[
692
Title
Wildland Shrubs of the United States and its Territories: Thamnic Descriptions
Publication
 
Author
Francis J.K. (Editor)
Website
http://www.fs.fed.us/global/iitf/wildland_shrubs.htm
Publisher
USDA; Forest Service International Institute of Tropical Forestr
Year
2000
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent series of papers, in PDf format, from various authors giving quite detailed information on a range of shrubs growing in the United States and its Territories. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
A dioecious species, both male and female forms need to be grown if seed is required.

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

The stems are used to treat snakebites[
348
Title
Medicinal Plants of the Guianas
Publication
 
Author
DeFilipps, R. A.; Maina, S. L.; & Crepin, J.
Website
http://botany.si.edu/bdg/medicinal/index.html
Publisher
Smithsonian Museum
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A down-loadable PDF document of a book in pre-publication awaiting illustration. An excellent, if rather terse, guide to the traditional medicinal uses of the plants of the region
].

Agroforestry Uses:

Uva grass provides cover for wildlife and protects stream banks from erosion[
692
Title
Wildland Shrubs of the United States and its Territories: Thamnic Descriptions
Publication
 
Author
Francis J.K. (Editor)
Website
http://www.fs.fed.us/global/iitf/wildland_shrubs.htm
Publisher
USDA; Forest Service International Institute of Tropical Forestr
Year
2000
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent series of papers, in PDf format, from various authors giving quite detailed information on a range of shrubs growing in the United States and its Territories. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Other Uses

The culms lack the strength and toughness of hardwoods and bamboo but still are used for many purposes, including as long arrows, for making trellises and lattices, as slats, as poles for propelling canoes, for light construction work, plant supports etc[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
,
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
,
521
Title
Useful Plants of the Siona and Secoya Indians of Eastern Ecuador.
Publication
Fieldiana Botany New Series No. 15
Author
Vickers W.T.; Plowman T.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Field Museum of Natural History; USA.
Year
1984
ISBN
0015 - 0746
Description
Very terse, but it gives the uses of a large number of species. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
,
692
Title
Wildland Shrubs of the United States and its Territories: Thamnic Descriptions
Publication
 
Author
Francis J.K. (Editor)
Website
http://www.fs.fed.us/global/iitf/wildland_shrubs.htm
Publisher
USDA; Forest Service International Institute of Tropical Forestr
Year
2000
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent series of papers, in PDf format, from various authors giving quite detailed information on a range of shrubs growing in the United States and its Territories. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
Sections of smaller stems are used to make earplugs and the bases of feather 'flowers' which are hung on necklaces[
521
Title
Useful Plants of the Siona and Secoya Indians of Eastern Ecuador.
Publication
Fieldiana Botany New Series No. 15
Author
Vickers W.T.; Plowman T.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Field Museum of Natural History; USA.
Year
1984
ISBN
0015 - 0746
Description
Very terse, but it gives the uses of a large number of species. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

The leaves are used for thatching, and for weaving mats, baskets, and hats[
692
Title
Wildland Shrubs of the United States and its Territories: Thamnic Descriptions
Publication
 
Author
Francis J.K. (Editor)
Website
http://www.fs.fed.us/global/iitf/wildland_shrubs.htm
Publisher
USDA; Forest Service International Institute of Tropical Forestr
Year
2000
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent series of papers, in PDf format, from various authors giving quite detailed information on a range of shrubs growing in the United States and its Territories. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Propagation

Seed -
Division of the rhizomes.

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