Paspalum conjugatum

Paspalum conjugatum, commonly known as carabao grass or hilo grass, is a tropical to subtropical perennial grass. It is originally from the American tropics, but has been naturalized widely in tropical Southeast Asia and Pacific Islands. It has also spread to Northern Africa and Northern and Eastern Australia. It is also known as sour paspalum, T-grass (after the shape of their panicle), or more confusingly, as "buffalo grass" or "sour grass".

Paspalum conjugatum
Paspalum conjugatum habit4 (7185755821).jpg
Paspalum conjugatum habit
Paspalum conjugatum head4b (7370989812).jpg
The characteristic T-shaped panicle of P. conjugatum
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Clade: Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Subfamily: Panicoideae
Genus: Paspalum
P. conjugatum
Binomial name
Paspalum conjugatum


Paspalum conjugatum belongs to the genus Paspalum (bahiagrasses or crown grasses) in the grass family Poaceae. It was first described in 1772 in by the Swedish botanist Peter Jonas Bergius.[1]


Paspalum conjugatum can be grown as a lawn grass if kept cropped and low to the ground

Paspalum conjugatum is native to the tropics of the Americas. It was introduced to tropical Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands during the colonial period. It is particularly abundant in the Philippines from where the English common name "carabao grass" originates (named after the carabao, the local water buffalo breed); and in Hawaii where it is known as "hilo grass". They have also spread to Northern Africa and Northern and Eastern Australia.[2][3][4]


Paspalum conjugatum has a creeping stoloniferous habit. The culms are branching and slightly compressed dorsoventrally, they are usually reddish to purplish in color. The leaf sheaths are strongly flattened, usually 30 to 50 mm (1.2 to 2.0 in) long and hairy around the nodes. The leaves are smooth, around 8 to 20 cm (3.1 to 7.9 in) in length, and 5 to 12 mm (0.20 to 0.47 in) in width. They are linear to lance-like in shape, tapering to a point. The inflorescence are characteristically T-shaped, with two (rarely three) racemes.[3][5][4]


They flower approximately 4 to 5 weeks after germination and continue flowering year-round. They rarely germinate from seed. Instead they usually propagate via stolons.[5]

Ecology and usesEdit

Paspalum conjugatum grow from sea level to around 1,700 m (5,600 ft) in altitude. They commonly grow near riparian and disturbed habitats.[5]

They are usually unpalatable to cattle, especially in the flowering stage. When grown for forage, they are usually closely cropped continually, to maintain palatability. It is suitable forage for water buffalos, however, hence the common name of "carabao grass" or "buffalo grass". They can be a serious weed among agricultural crops. They are also grown as lawn grass.[5][4]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Paspalum conjugatum". Missouri Botanical Garden. Retrieved 12 June 2019.
  2. ^ "Paspalum conjugatum P.J. Bergius". Weeds of Australia. Queensland Government. Retrieved 12 June 2019.
  3. ^ a b Lee, Chin-Tian (1985). Common Weeds of Guam (PDF). Guam Agricultural Experiment Station.
  4. ^ a b c Motooka, Philip Susumu; Castro, Luisa; Nelson, Duane; Nagai, Guy; Ching, Lincoln (2003). Weeds of Hawai'i's Pastures and Natural Areas; An Identification and Management Guide (PDF). College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. ISBN 9781929325146.
  5. ^ a b c d Manidool, C. "Paspalum conjugatum". Pl@ntUse. Plant Resources of South-East Asia (PROSEA). Retrieved 12 June 2019.