Disclaimer: The Aventura parks website’s Nature Trail section (Animal and plant ) is an educational resource written largely by and for our dear guests. It doesn’t cover all species in the world, nor does it include all the latest scientific information about organisms we describe. Though we edit our accounts for accuracy, we cannot guarantee all information in those accounts. While our staff and contributors provide references to books and websites that we believe are reputable, we cannot necessarily endorse the contents of references beyond our control.
Guinea grass (Megathyrsus maximus )/Panicum maximum
Native to tropical Africa and is now widely naturalized in the tropics. It is naturally found in open grasslands, woodland and shady places within 16.3°N and 28.7°S.Guinea grass is a large tufted, fast-growing perennial grass. It has a broad morphological and agronomic variability, ranging in height from 0.5 to 3.5 m, with stems of 5 mm to 10 mm diameter. There are two main types: a tall/medium tussock type, taller than 1.5 m at flowering, and a short tussock type . The root is a short creeping rhizome; culms are erect, hirsute at the nodes. Leaves are blade-shaped, glabrous to pubescent up to 35 mm broad. Inflorescence is a panicle, 15 to 50 cm long. Spikelets are 3-4 mm green to purple .
Giunea grass is a drought tolerant leafy high quality feed readily eaten by all stock. It becomes stemmy if not cut or grazed frequently.
DID YOU KNOW
Guinea grass is a fast growing, bulky grass that helps prevention of soil erosion since it provides rapid ground cover . While it spreads slowly when it is well managed, Guinea grass can spread very fast and become a weed in ungrazed areas where soil disturbance has occurred. It is a major weed in sugarcane fields since it grows well in shaded conditions.