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Useful Tropical Plants

Panicum decompositum

R.Br.

Poaceae

+ Synonyms

Common Name: Native Millet

Panicum decompositum
Growing plant in native habitat - showing regrowth after the plant was cut down
Photograph by: Harry Rose
Creative Commons License
Panicum decompositum Panicum decompositum Panicum decompositum

General Information

Native millet is a densely-clumping perennial grass growing about 30 - 80cm tall.
The plant was an important food source for the Australian Aborigines[
144
Title
Wild Food in Australia.
Publication
 
Author
Cribb. A. B. and J. W.
Publisher
Fontana
Year
1976
ISBN
0-00-634436-4
Description
A very good pocket guide.
]. The edible seed is still sometimes harvested from the wild and used locally.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

154
Title
Flora of Victoria.
Publication
 
Author
Ewart. A. J.
Publisher
University Press; Melbourne
Year
1930
ISBN
 
Description
A flora of eastern Australia, it is rather short on information that is useful to the plant project.
,
265
Title
Flora of the Sydney Region
Publication
 
Author
Carolin. R. & Tindale. M.
Publisher
Reed. Australia.
Year
1993
ISBN
0730104001
Description
Concise flora with little beyond an extensive key, species descriptions, very brief habitat description.
,
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.

Range

Australia - all mainland states.

Habitat

Damp sandy soils[
154
Title
Flora of Victoria.
Publication
 
Author
Ewart. A. J.
Publisher
University Press; Melbourne
Year
1930
ISBN
 
Description
A flora of eastern Australia, it is rather short on information that is useful to the plant project.
]. Widespread on heavy soils, especially in drier areas[
265
Title
Flora of the Sydney Region
Publication
 
Author
Carolin. R. & Tindale. M.
Publisher
Reed. Australia.
Year
1993
ISBN
0730104001
Description
Concise flora with little beyond an extensive key, species descriptions, very brief habitat description.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
HabitPerennial
Height0.60 m
PollinatorsWind
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

Found in a range of habitats from warm temperate to tropical. Top growth is sensitive to frost - the plant dying back to the ground in cold weather and regrowing with warmer conditions[
156
Title
Useful Wild Plants in Australia.
Publication
 
Author
Cribb. A. B. and J. W.
Publisher
William Collins Pty Ltd. Sidney
Year
1981
ISBN
0-00-216441-8
Description
A very readable book.
].
Requires a moderately fertile well-drained soil 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.
].

Edible Uses

Seed - cooked or ground into a powder and used as a flour[
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.
,
144
Title
Wild Food in Australia.
Publication
 
Author
Cribb. A. B. and J. W.
Publisher
Fontana
Year
1976
ISBN
0-00-634436-4
Description
A very good pocket guide.
,
177
Title
Plants for Human Consumption.
Publication
 
Author
Kunkel. G.
Publisher
Koeltz Scientific Books
Year
1984
ISBN
3874292169
Description
An excellent book for the dedicated. A comprehensive listing of Latin names with a brief list of edible parts.
]. A type of millet[
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.
]. The seed is rather small and fiddly to utilize. It has a mild flavour and can be used as a staple food like millet[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

Medicinal

None known

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

Seed - sow in a seed tray and only just cover - do not allow to become dry. Germination should take place within a week. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when large enough to handle and plant out when 15cm tall[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].
Division in spring. Very easy, larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

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