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Molasses grass
(Melinis minutiflora)

  • loose tussocks
  • pioneer, not tolerant of heavy grazing
  • sticky leaves
  • sweet smelling.

Molasses grass is a spreading perennial which forms a fairly dense, straggling sward, smothering other plants. The leaves are covered with hairs which exude a sticky secretion, and contain a volatile oil which gives the grass a strong and distinctive odour. This does not cause tainting of milk or meat.

Molasses grass grows best in warm coastal areas with more than l,000 mm rainfall, and is easily frosted.

Molasses grass was used as a pioneer species after clearing poor soils as it smothers weeds; it produces a very hot fire to clean up rubbish and weeds, and to allow more persistent species to be planted. It is not sown much now.

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

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