Digitaria fuscescens (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Digitaria fuscescens (Presl) Henr.

Family: Gramineae


  • Digitaria pseudo-ischaemum Buse,
  • Paspalum micranthum Desv.

Vernacular names

  • Indonesia: kakawatan (Javanese), rumput tembagan (Aceh).


From Madagascar, Mauritius and Sri Lanka to southern China and the Pacific; throughout South-East Asia. Introduced into Africa and South America.


Suitable for erosion control.


  • Mat-forming perennial grass with creeping stolons; culm up to 40 cm tall.
  • Leaves usually distichous, glabrous.
  • Racemes 2-3(-5), inserted close to each other, with a winged rachis.
  • Spikelets ternate, 2-flowered, glabrous, 1.2-1.6 mm long; lower glume usually absent.

D. fuscescens is locally common as a pioneer on sandy to rocky soils in disturbed sites, such as beaches and dunes, up to 1350 m altitude. It is suitable to cover slopes quickly, although sometimes it becomes a noxious weed.

Selected sources

  • Lazarides, M., 1980. The tropical grasses of Southeast Asia (excluding bamboos). Phanerogamarum Monographiae, Volume 12. J. Cramer, Vaduz, Liechtenstein. 225 pp.
  • Soerjani, M., Kostermans, A.J.G.H. & Tjitrosoepomo, G., 1987. Weeds of rice in Indonesia. Balai Pustaka, Jakarta, Indonesia. 716 pp.
  • Veldkamp, J.F., 1973. A revision of Digitaria in Malesia. Blumea 21: 1-80.


  • M.S.M. Sosef & L.J.G. van der Maesen