Better Pastures for the Tropics - banner


Aleman grass

(Echinochloa polystachya)

  • for swampy poor soils or ponded pastures
  • planted vegetatively
  • complements para grass in deeper water
  • its use is restricted in Queensland due to its potential as an environmental weed of wetlands.

Aleman grass cv. Amity is a perennial grass that grows in swampy areas in central America, and has been widely planted in Africa and Asia.

Aleman has bluish, rather narrow leaves on rather coarse stems growing from long rhizomes. It can grow to 2.5 m height in good conditions, but produces no viable seed It is adapted to badly drained, relatively infertile soil, and to seasonally flooded sites, and has been planted to complement para grass in ponded pasture areas where the water is too deep for para. It is resistant to pasture leaf hopper (Toya sp.) which attacks para grass.

Amity is very palatable being eagerly sought by grazing stock, it has good nutritive value, and responds strongly to improved fertility.

Aleman is normally planted with leafy runners up to 1.5 m long, pushed into wet soil or into water up to 15 cm deep. Plantings are repeated every two weeks as the water line recedes with the advance of the dry season.

Planting material should be kept away from major streams and drainage lines to protect fish and water bird habitats.

All introduced water-grasses are now considered 'environmental weeds' in Queensland, and State government policy restricts planting para and species such as Aleman grass and Hymenachne in sensitive wetlands.

Creator: Ian Partridge
Date created: 18 Mar 1998  Revised: Revised: 20 Dec 2002
 

Better Pastures home page