Andropogon pseudapricus (PROTA)
|Geographic coverage Africa|
|Geographic coverage World|
|Cereal / pulse|
|Forage / feed|
Andropogon pseudapricus Stapf
- Protologue: Prain, Fl. Trop. Afr. 9: 242 (1919).
- Family: Poaceae (Gramineae)
- Chromosome number: n = 20
Origin and geographic distribution
Andropogon pseudapricus is distributed from Senegal and Mauritania eastward to Chad, and occurs scattered in DR Congo, Tanzania and Malawi. It has probably been introduced in Mexico and Brazil.
The stems of Andropogon pseudapricus are widely used for thatching. In Nigeria they are chopped, mixed and puddled with clay to make building blocks. In Mali Andropogon pseudapricus is one of several grasses used for making mats and screens, and it is commonly sold in markets in Bamako for this purpose. The plant is grazed by stock, especially when still young. It is also valued as hay during the dry season and in Senegal the aftermath is considered especially useful. The seeds are eaten in Mali in times of famine.
Production and international trade
The stems are traded in local markets.
A crude protein content of 7.4% in the rainy season has been recorded.
Annual or perennial, tufted grass; stems up to 150 cm tall, ascending, branched above, thin, pinkish yellow, glabrous, often broken. Leaves alternate; sheaths auricled, glabrous or rarely loosely pilose; ligule truncate, up to 2 mm long, membranous, attached to the auricles, pinkish; blade linear, 8–40 cm × 1–5 mm, flat or rolled-in, glabrous or sparsely hairy, margins rough. Inflorescence a 30–60 cm long false panicle, copiously branched, bearing linear spathes and paired racemes; the pairs initially embraced below by spatheoles and later exserted from them; spatheoles linear to narrowly lanceolate, c. 5 cm long, reddish; peduncles at least as long as long the racemes, erect at maturity; racemes 2–4 cm long, flexible; internodes and pedicels cuneate to narrowly ellipsoid, ciliate with hairs c. 2 mm long. Spikelets in pairs, one sessile and fertile, one pedicelled and sterile; sessile spikelet 5–6 mm long, compressed between internode and pedicel, callus 1–2 mm long, obtuse, inserted in the concave top of the internode, white, bearded, lower glume linear, deeply depressed between the dorsal keels, glabrous, upper glume with an awn 5–16 mm long, lower floret reduced to a hyaline lemma, upper floret fertile, upper lemma bidentate, passing between the teeth into a geniculate awn 30–50 mm long, rarely less, stigmas 2; pedicelled spikelet sterile, narrowly elliptical, 4–5 mm long, membranous, glabrous to villous, 2-awned, the longer awn 5–11 mm long, the other much shorter. Fruit a caryopsis.
Andropogon comprises about 100 species. It occurs throughout the tropics, but is most prolific in Africa and the Americas.
Andropogon pinguipes Stapf is an annual, robust, purplish grass with erect stems 1–3 m tall, with a very narrow spatheate panicle up to 30 cm long. It is recorded only in West Africa from Senegal to Cameroon. The stems are used in Senegal as ties for thatch. In Mali they are used for thatching and for making mats, screens and doorway covers. They are traded in markets in Bamako (Mali). The plant is a good forage when young, and is browsed even when in flower.
Andropogon tenuiberbis Hack. is a perennial, robust, tufted grass with stems up to 5 m long and reddish or purplish inflorescences up to 60 cm long. It occurs in swamps and waterlogged locations from Senegal to Sudan, DR Congo and Tanzania. It is used for thatching and for making fences.
Andropogon pseudapricus is an important component of savanna vegetation in areas with an average annual rainfall of 500–700 mm, on shallow, sandy or gravelly lateritic soils. It is common on dry fallow land, often as a pioneer species. It occurs at 300–2100 m altitude. In Senegal it is also common on irrigation bunds and river-banks. In Burkina Faso, grazing increased its proportion in the vegetation in some locations, but had little effect elsewhere. Early fire had little effect.
Andropogon pseudapricus only occurs wild. In experiments it gave fodder yields of 15–18 t/ha when sown in rows.
Andropogon pseudapricus is widespread and sometimes a dominant component of savanna vegetation, and there are no indications that it is under threat of genetic erosion.
Andropogon pseudapricus is likely to remain of some importance as a material for thatching and for making mats and screens, and as a component of natural grazing land.
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- L.P.A. Oyen, PROTA Network Office Europe, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 341, 6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands
Correct citation of this article
Oyen, L.P.A., 2011. Andropogon pseudapricus Stapf. [Internet] Record from PROTA4U. Brink, M. & Achigan-Dako, E.G. (Editors). PROTA (Plant Resources of Tropical Africa / Ressources végétales de l’Afrique tropicale), Wageningen, Netherlands. <http://www.prota4u.org/search.asp>.
Accessed 5 March 2020.
- See the Prota4U database.