Sporobolus Cryptandrus or

Sporobolus Cryptandrus or

Sporobolus Cryptandrus

Caterpillars of the small moth Bucculatrix sporobolella have only been found on alkali sacaton (Sporobolus airoides). The Laysan dropseed noctuid moth (Hypena laysanensis) on Laysan Island apparently became extinct with the local eradication of S. virginicus by feral rabbits. Seed-eating birds including American sparrows (genus Aimophila) feed on sacaton seeds. S. wrightii is a critical resource for Botteri's sparrow (Aimophila botterii) which at one time was extirpated from Arizona.The 1889 book The Useful Native Plants of Australia records that Sporobolus actinocladus is a "Perennial; seeds in October and November. A much esteemed pasture grass of the back country, common on rich loamy soil; stock of all kinds are very fond of it."



Sporobolus helvolus is a perennial grass that forms small tufts. It has long slender stolons that first arise as ordinary shoots and then elongate and root from the nodes at some distance from the mother plant. This is possibly an adaptation that reduces competition with the main tuft (Bogdan, 1977). The culms are thin (about 1 mm in diameter at the base), wiry and grow to a height of 15-60 cm. The leaf blades are flat, 2-10 (-15) cm long, 2-4 mm wide, glaucous, tapering to a filiform tip. The inflorescence is a small panicle, linear to narrowly lanceolate in shape, 4-12 cm long x 5-20 mm wide. The spikelets are 1.4-2 mm long, greenish brown in colour. The seeds are ellipsoid, 0.5 mm long (eFloras, 2016; Bogdan, 1977).

Sporobolus helvolus is naturally found in Central, Western and North-Eastern Africa and in North-Western India (Quattrocchi, 2006). It is an important grass in the arid zone of Rajasthan. It grows in arid and semi-arid areas, on open deciduous bushlands, open sandy plains, low shrublands, open scrub on alluvial plains and on waterlogged soils (bottom lands, moist patches, alluvial silts, black clays and lacustrine deposits). It has outstanding drought tolerance and can also withstand saline soils (up to 20 dS/m) (FAO, 2016). Sporobolus helvolus is the dominating species on saline patches (Grassi et al., 1992). It is the dominant component of the sward developed on the sandy clays of the temporary ponds of M'Zerif, 30 km east of Timbédra, Mauritania, and is well eaten, both at the beginning and the end of the dry season (Boudet et al., 1961 cited by FAO, 2016). It is tolerant of flooded conditions. It can also grow on volcanic ash and gypsum (FAO, 2016; Quattrocchi, 2006). It can be regarded as a field weed in some situations (Quattrocchi, 2006). (Source: www.feedipedia.org)



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