Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.

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Cynodon dactylon

Photo: Petra Ballings
Maleme Dam Rest Camp, Matobo National Park

Cynodon dactylon

Photo: Petra Ballings
Maleme Dam Rest Camp, Matobo National Park

Cynodon dactylon

Photo: Petra Ballings
Maleme Dam Rest Camp, Matobo National Park

Cynodon dactylon

Photo: Petra Ballings
Maleme Dam Rest Camp, Matobo National Park

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. var. elegans Rendle
Cynodon polevansii Stent
Panicum dactylon L.
Common names: Couch grass (English) Kweekgras (Afrikaans)
Status: Native
Perennial creeping grass, forming dense ground covering carpets, up to 30 cm high, with a slender underground rhizome and surface stolons. Leaves often short and narrow, 2.5-12 cm long. Culms erect or ascending, up to 40 cm long; racemes 2-6 in a single whorl, 2-5.5 cm long. Spikelts 2-2.6 mm long; superior glume shorter than the spikelet.
Derivation of specific name:
Habitat: Colonizing nitrogen-rich habitats such as farms, floodplains termitaria and disturbed ground.
Altitude range: (metres) Up to 1800 m
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Throughout the tropical and warm temperate regions of the world.
Zimbabwe distribution: N,W,C,E,S
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Chapano, C., Mugarisanwa, N.H. (2003). Plants of the Matobo District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 12.

Cope, T.A. (1999). Poaceae Flora Zambesiaca 10(2) Pages 235 - 236. (Includes a picture).

Heath, A. & Heath, R. (2009). Field Guide to the Plants of Northern Botswana including the Okavango Delta Kew Publishing Page 448. (Includes a picture).

Isaiah, A.M. & Komi, T. (2015). Grasses in the Botswana National Botanic Garden South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria Page 10. (Includes a picture).

Jackson, G. & Wiehe, P.O. (1958). An Annotated Check List of Nyasaland Grasses The Government Printer, Zomba, Nyasaland Page 34.

Roodt, V. (2015). Grasses & Grazers of Botswana and the surrounding savanna Struik Nature, South Africa Pages 74 - 75. (Includes a picture).

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 133.

Timberlake, J.R. & Childes, S.L. (2004). Biodiversity of the Four Corners Area: Technical Reviews Volume Two (Chapter 5-15) Appendix 5-1: Plant Checklist Occasional Publications in Biodiversity 15 Page 188.

Wild, H. (undated, c. 1955). Common Rhodesian Weeds ?Government of Rhodesia, Salisbury Page 5. (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Cynodon dactylon:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Cynodon dactylon
Flora of Caprivi: Cynodon dactylon
Flora of Malawi: Cynodon dactylon
Flora of Mozambique: Cynodon dactylon
Flora of Zambia: Cynodon dactylon

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Cynodon dactylon
African Plant Database: Cynodon dactylon
Biodiversity Explorer (Biodiversity of southern Africa): Cynodon dactylon
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Cynodon dactylon
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Cynodon dactylon
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Cynodon dactylon
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Cynodon dactylon
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Cynodon dactylon
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network): Cynodon dactylon
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Cynodon dactylon
Ispot Southern Africa: Cynodon dactylon
JSTOR Plant Science: Cynodon dactylon
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Cynodon dactylon
Kew Monocotyledon checklist: Cynodon dactylon
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Cynodon dactylon
The Plant List (version 1.1): Cynodon dactylon
Tropicos: Cynodon dactylon

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-19

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2019). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Cynodon dactylon., retrieved 22 July 2019

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