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(Paspalum dilatatum)

paspalum - illustration
  • naturalised in subtropics
  • high fertility soils
  • reasonable frost resistance
  • needs renovation when sod-bound.


Paspalum dilatatum Poiret -
1 habit leafy plant;
2 ligule;
3 inflarescence;
4 spikelet.



Paspalum is a creeping grass with soft, palatable leaves. It spreads by short root-stocks which make it tolerant of heavy grazing.

Paspalum once formed the basis of much dairying development in New South Wales and Queensland. It quickly became naturalised on scrub soils receiving over 900 mm rainfall, and colonised the moister valley bottoms in drier regions.

Paspalum has quite good frost resistance, and comes away well in spring. Paspalum grows best on heavier textured alluvial soils or red loams with high fertility. It becomes sod bound fairly quickly, and as fertility declines, the pasture is invaded by inferior grasses and weeds. Renovation can restore productivity. Heavy late-summer grazing and autumn fertiliser dressings help to maintain white clover with paspalum in areas where white clover is adapted.

  Paspalum seed heads can be attacked by an ergot, and can poison stock.

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

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