Paspalum arundinaceum

Paspalum arundinaceum Poir.

Common Names: Thick Ditch Crown Grass

Family: Poaceae

Habit: Paspalum arundinaceum grows as clumping perennial to 2 m in height when flowering. The leaves are arranged alternately to 25 cm in length (usually shorter) with a basal sheath extending along the stem that is slightly pubescent. At the point of divergence of the leaf sheath to the leaf blade is a ciliate ligule. The leaves are parallel veined and slightly pubescent.

The zygomorphic flowers are arranged in a panicle of 10-20 racemes made of appressed spikelets. The rachis of the panicle pubescent at the nodes. At the base of each spikelet are 2 structures called glumes. The first glume small and the second larger. In each spikelet there are flowering structures each is subtended by 2 additional structures (lemma and palea).  There are two florets with the lower one sterile and reduced while the upper fertile with 1 stamen and a superior ovary each with a single locule and seed.  The fruit is a caryopsis.

Habitat: Paspalum arundinaceum grows in ephemeral Fresh Water Wetlands and low-lying areas and ditches.

Distribution: Paspalum arundinaceum occurs throughout the island groupings in the Lucayan Archipelago, the Caribbean region, Mexico, Central and northern South America.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Paspalum arundinaceum is not known to be used medicinally in the Lucayan Archipelago.