Andropogon contortus L.
Heteropogon hirtus Pers.
Common Name: Black Spear Grass
Black spear grass is a clump-forming, perennial grass producing a clump of leaves up to 30cm long and flowering stems 30 - 100cm tall.
The plant has often been grown as a pasture grass, and is also utilized as a material for thatching and weaving[
]. It has been grown to provide erosion control, but has escaped from cultivation and become a noxious weed.
Originating in the Tropics of Asia or Africa, it has spread to most other tropical areas.
|Other Uses Rating||
Succeeds in tropical and subtropical regions, being naturally found in savannah grasslands in areas of moderate rainfall where it is seasonally warm and wet, then cooler and dry[
]. It is found mainly in areas with an annual rainfall in the range of 600 - 1,100mm, tolerating lower rainfall when growing on deep sands of drainage lines; and tolerating higher rainfall when growing in well-drained sites[
Grows on a wide range of well to moderately free-draining soil types[
]. Established plants are relatively drought-tolerant, but are intolerant of prolonged waterlogging or high salinity[
The plant has escaped from cultivation and become a noxious weed in some areas.
It appears not to have been a climax dominant, but it has become so, particularly in Australia, India and Africa, through habitat disturbance such as heavy grazing and burning[
The plant has been grown in Hawaii and southwestern N. America to provide erosion control and revegetation of degraded areas[
A fibre obtained from the plant is used for making coarse mats and for thatching[
]. The culms are 30 - 100cm long and up to 3mm in diameter at the base.
If you have any useful information about this plant, please leave a comment. Comments have to be approved before they are shown here.