Paspalum dilatatum, commonly known as dallisgrass or common paspalum, is a perennial, tufted grass that grows a cluster of shoots to 1,5 m in height. Underground it usually has short rhizomes, between 4 mm and 8 mm long that allow plants to spread by creeping.
The inflorescence grows on single or branched culms, hairless at their nodes. The panicles becoming up to 20 cm long, comprising three to ten racemes. The pendulous linear strings of florets grow alternately. The tiny spikelets are broadly ovate, greenish or purple and hairy.
This worldwide species, originating from South America, now grows in much of the south and east of South Africa, tropical Africa, the warmer parts of the Americas, southern Europe, Asia and Australia.
The habitat is highly varied terrain including moist and dry grassland in clay, loam, turf and sandy soils. Some seed-eater birds thrive on it (Van Oudtshoorn, et al, 1991; www.tropicalforages.info).
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