Stenotaphrum secundatum (Walter) Kuntze

Etymology Genus
Narrow trench; referring to the depressions on the flowering stalk where the florets rest.
Species One-sided; all the florets are situated on one side of the stalk
Synonyms Ischaemum secundatum Walter, Stenotaphrum americanum Schrank
Common Names St. Augustine Grass
Status Exotic: Naturalised
Form Herb
Native Distribution Tropical Africa, North America (USA, Mexico), and South America

Diagnostic: Stenotaphrum secundatum is a rather common weed of lawns. It is vegetatively distinctive. The smoky green leaves are thick (than most grasses) and erect, and the tip and base of the leaf tapered sharply to a point. The overlapping shealth is most distinctive as it is very much flattened.

Interesting Facts: The St. Augustine Grass is a coastal pioneer species in its native habitat (Duistermaat, 2005).

Stenotaphrum secundatum, St. Augustine Grass, Form, Habit
Part of a lawn completely covered with the St. Augustine Grass. Note the smoky green green of the grass.
 
Stenotaphrum secundatum, St. Augustine Grass, Leaf  
The tip (right) and base (right) of leaf is sharply tapered.    
     
Stenotaphrum secundatum, St. Augustine Grass, Leaf   Stenotaphrum secundatum, St. Augustine Grass, Inflorescence, Floret, Flower
Dictomous branching with flattened sheaths (arrow).   The inflorescence. The florets are only found on one side of the stalk.

References

Duistermaat H, 2005. Field guide to the grasses of Singapore (excluding the bamboos). Supplement of The Gardens' Bulletin Singapore, 57: 177.

 

Posted on 16-Mar-2013 / Last Updated on 25-May-2014

Family: Poaceae