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Green panic
(Panicum maximum var. trichoglume

Green panic - illustration  
  • short clump grass
  • subtropical
  • fairly drought tolerant
  • responsive to showers of rain
  • combines well with twining legumes.

Green panic is a variety of guinea grass, and is sold as Petrie green panic.

It has fine soft leaves, slender stems growing to 1.5 m, and a richly branched root system that allows allowing rapid growth after light showers. The stem is hairy compared to the smooth stems of Gatton panic. Despite having a concentration of roots near the soil surface, green panic shows good drought resistance and survives well in situations where rhodes grass dies out. It can grow in areas down to 550 mm annual rainfall, but also in wet coastal or tableland areas receiving over 1,700 mm annual rainfall. It has some shade tolerance, and is often found growing under trees or shrubs, even under lantana.

Green panic's soil requirements are versatile. It grows best on friable softwood scrub loams, and on self-mulching grey and brown soils of heavy texture, including most brigalow soils, but it is not really at home on deep sands or on the wide-cracking, heavier black clays of the Darling Downs. It is very responsive to nutrients and yellow foliage is a good indication of nitrogen deficiency.

Green panic is very palatable and is usually grazed preferentially in a mixed sward; spelling may maintain sward vigour. Sparse stands will thicken up if allowed to seed, and a damaged stand will regenerate from natural seeding.

Green panic combines well with lucerne in subtropical areas, and with glycine and green-leaf desmodium to form very productive dairying or fattening pastures. Seed of green panic and Gatton panic are sometimes not differentiated in New South Wales.


Creator: Ian Partridge
Date created: 14 April 1998  Revised: 15 January 2003

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