Panicum protractum Peter
Panicum simbense Mez
Common Name: Donkey Grass
Donkey grass is a perennial grass with short rhizomes. The much-branched culms are rambling, 20 - 250cm long and rooting from the lower nodes.
The plant is sometimes used to provide ground cover under tree crops.
Tropical Africa - Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, DR Congo, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe.
Light forests and forest edges, in bush and along stream banks at elevations from sea level to 2,300 metres[
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A plant of the moist tropics, where it is found at elevations up to 2,300 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 16 - 28°c, but can tolerate 10 - 36°c[
]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,200 - 2,000mm, but tolerates 900 - 5,000mm and a pronounced dry season of up to 7 months[
Grows best in a sunny position, tolerating light shade[
]. Adapted to most well-drained, friable, fertile soils, it is often found on sandy or gravely soils, but also on loams and clay loams[
]. Prefers a pH in the range 6 - 7.5, tolerating 5 - 8[
]. Established plants are drought tolerant[
Provides good shade-tolerant ground cover, making it useful for agroforestry including pasture under coconuts[
A useful plant for soil conservation and bench development in terraced contour cultivation systems[
Seed - it may not reach maximum germination until up to 18 months after harvest. Dormancy can be overcome by removal of glumes from the fresh seed[
]. Seed can be drilled or broadcast at 2 - 3 kilos per hectare. Being a small seed, it should be planted at no more than 1cm deep. Rolling after sowing improves germination and establishment[
This species can also be established from slips, stolon plantlets, or pieces of stolon with several nodes[
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