Giant paspalum

Paspalum urvillei

Grass species are notoriously difficult to identify. P. urvillei is a perennial grass that grows in clumps or tufts of a few to many stems growing from a short rootstock. The stems are purplish and hairy at the base but green and smooth towards the top; they are from 0.75 to 2.5 metres tall. The blades are green, vase-shaped, bristly and firm, 12 to 48 cm long (commonly 20 to 30 cm) and 3 to 15 mm wide; rarely, they can be up to 65 cm long and 2 cm wide. The inflorescences are 10-20 cm long, borne on a central axis 4-13 cm long. Each flower cluster bears six to 25 spikes. Four to thirty seedheads, grouped on spreading branches, have paired seeds lined up in 4 rows. Seeds are brown when mature and fringed with fine hairs, and may feel sticky. They characteristically lie on one side of the branch.

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