Anthistiria ciliata Nees
Anthistiria glauca Desf.
Anthistiria imberbis Retz.
Anthistiria japonica Willd.
Anthistiria paleacea (Vahl) Ball
Anthistiria punctata Hochst. ex A. Rich.
Calamina imberbis (Retz.) Roem. & Schult.
Stipa arguens Thunb.
Themeda barbinodis B.S. Sun & S. Wang
Themeda forskalii (Kunth) Hack.
Themeda imberbis (Retz.) Cooke
Themeda japonica (Willd.) Tanaka
Common Name: Kangaroo Grass
Kangaroo grass is a slow-growing, tufted, perennial grass with erect culms from 30 - 200cm tall332,
The plant is sometimes gathered from the wild for local use as thatch and medicine. The seed is eaten in times of famine.
Wilted culms contain hydrocyanic acid and are a danger to livestock[
Sheep farmers in southern Africa find the seed a nuisance as it becomes entangled in sheep’s fleece, causing serious injury known as 'traumatic purulent dermatitis'[
Widespread from Africa, through Asia to the Philippines and Australia.
Dominant in the extensive Acacia-grasslands at elevations from 1,200 - 2,000 metres in East Africa, and widespread elsewhere in grassland and in open woodlands, especially on clay soils, at elevations from sea level to over 3,000 metres[
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Avery adaptable plant, found in a wide range of climates from continental temperate (where it grows as an annual), through subtropical to tropical, being found at elevations from near sea level to over 3,000 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime annual temperatures are within the range 22 - 28°c, though it can tolerate 15 - 35°c[
]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 500 - 1,100mm, but can tolerate 450 - 6,250mm[
Prefers a sunny position[
]. Succeeds in a wide range of soil types, but dislikes heavy clays[
]. Prefers a pH in the range 6.5 - 7, tolerating 5.5 - 7.5[
]. Established plants are drought tolerant[
Plants are fairly tolerant of fires[
A polymorphic species[
]. Small and fiddly, it is basically a food for times when better foods are not available[
A decoction of the roots is drunk as a treatment for dysmenorrhoea[
The presence of this grass is considered in S Africa to be an indication of the suitability of the land for growing pineapples[
The culms are used in Uganda for hut-building[
]. Ubiquitously they serve as thatch, but in Lesotho the quality is said to be poor and not lasting[
The culms are suitable for producing paper-pulp[
Seed - there is some after-ripening dormancy and it takes approximately 12 months storage before the full germination potential of the seed is realized[
]. Dormancy results from a combination of embryo dormancy and mechanically resistant glumes. Successful germination of the spikelets entails the splitting of the tough upper glumes by radicles. Glume removal, plus treatment with gibberellic acid increases germination rates and reduces germination time[
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