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Digit grass, Premier
(Digitaria smutsii)


Digit - illustration

  • for infertile soils
  • cold-tolerant
  • slow establishment
  • very persistent.


Digitaria sp.


Premier is a robust, tufted perennial growing to about 1.5 m, and with an oblique rhizome; its lowest leaf sheathes are densely hairly at the base but the higher ones have few hairs.

Premier has been outstanding on the infertile `traprock' soils of southern Queensland, but has performed well on other soils. It can be slow to establish to a full sward, but once established it is very persistent under heavy grazing even on poor soils, such as a sandy surfaced duplex. It will continue to produce new leaf in winter where there is sufficient moisture, although leaves can be frosted.

Premier's fairly open sward makes it compatible with many legumes, both twining and erect tropicals and temperates such as serradella. Premier leaf is generally disease-free but a false smut can attack the seedheads.

Although Premier has performed well with legumes and nitrogen on infertile soils, there are suggestions that it is not as productive as other improved grasses when nitrogen declines.

Apollo is a recent release with earlier spring growth than Premier.

Creator: Ian Partridge
Date created: 03 April 1998  Revised:15 January 2003

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