There has been considerable confusion in the past between this species and Tripsacum laxum Nash. It is possible that some of the information detailed below should apply to both species[
Tripsacum guatamalense Chitwood & Berger
Tripsacum andersonii is a robust, perennial, evergreen grass with a short rhizome and culms 3 - 5 metres tall and 20 - 30mm in diameter. The plant is shallow rooted, and can form large mats of growth up to 5 metres wide[
The plant is widely cultivated throughout the tropics as a cut fodder, as a hedge, soil conditioner and for erosion control.
C. America - Costa Rica, Honduras, El Salvador, Mexico.
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A plant of the moist tropics, where it is found at elevations up to 2,000 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 22 - 30°c, but can tolerate 12 - 35°c[
]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,500 - 2,000mm, but tolerates 1,000 - 3,000mm[
Grows best in full sun, but plants can maintain good growth with 50% shade[
]. Requires a fertile, well-drained soil, but can be grown in a range of conditions including very acid coastal sands, peats and acid sulphate soils[
]. Prefers a pH in the range 4 - 4.5, tolerating 2.7 - 5[
]. The plant is adapted to inundated and marshy conditions; it has a remarkable tolerance to shallow water tables, but poor tolerance to soil moisture stress[
The plant is used to form a stout hedgerow (living fence) or for contour strips with or without companion legume on hill land, especially that growing cassava (Manihot esculenta)[
Planted as a break to reduce insect pests in run-down tea plantation land in Sri Lanka, and to combat bacterial wilt of potatoes in Burundi[
Used for soil erosion control, mulching and as a soil conditioner in drained swamps in Malaysia[
Seed - fertile seeds are seldom, if ever, produced outside the plant's native range[
Division of the rhizomes.
The plant can be established by planting stem cuttings or rooted culms at the beginning of the rainy season, either in holes or in a plough furrow, 50 - 65cm apart in rows 1 metre wide[
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