Seashore paspalum (Paspalum vaginatum) is a perennial stoloniferous grass. It's stolons range from slender and wiry to stout and somewhat fleshy. Its culms are slightly compressed, between 2.5 and 5 (-10) dm long. The sheaths of P. vaginatum are often keeled, and have small auricles. Wagner et al. (1999; in PIER, 2007) describes the grass as follows:
\"Sheaths often keeled, with small auricles; ligule membranous, ca. 0.5 mm long, with a ring of soft white hairs behind it, the hairs sometimes up to 5 mm long; blades usually stiff, ascending at an uniform angle, 2.5-15cm long, 3-8 mm wide at base, narrower than summit of sheath, apex attenuate, involute, base abruptly contracted. Racemes 2 (-5), opposite or closely approximate, at first erect and appressed together, usually spreading or reflexed at maturity, often subfalcate, 1.5-7.5cm long, rachis naked at base, 1-2 (-2.5) mm wide, triangular, flexuous, margins minutely scabrous; spikelets pale, solitary, imbricate, oblong, 3-4.5 mm long, 1.2-1.5 mm wide; first glume rarely developed, second glume and first lemma equal, thin, 3-7-nerved, the midnerve of both usually obscure, glabrous; first lemma usually transversely undulate, sometimes conspicuously so; second lemma convex, usually 3-5-nerved, apex with a few short, stiff cilia, otherwise glabrous; palea flat, 0-2-nerved, similar to lemma. Caryopsis narrowly obovate, slightly concavo-convex, 2.5-3 mm long, subacute\"
Haynes et al. undated state that seashore paspalum (Paspalum vaginatum) makes a high-quality turfgrass because of its minimal fertility and pesticide requirements. Furthermore, its tolerance of a wide range of conditions such as drought, saline or recycled water, varying soil pH, extended periods of low light intensity, flooding or extended wet periods as well as its resistance to insects, disease and wear mean it can be planted and grow where other species would not survive. It is frequently used in landscaping and as a turf grass in golf courses.
P. vaginatum has historically been used for erosion control, as forage food for cattle and horses, by wild geese for feed. It is also used for wetland restoration and site reclamation on oil and gas well sites (Gates, 2003). Loch et al. 2003 suggest that P. vaginatum is suitable for use as a part of the management of salt-affected lands in Australia. Again, its saline-tolerant and overall survivability traits make it stand out from other turfgrassses.
Seashore paspalum (Paspalum vaginatum) can be found in the coastal salt marshes of the tropics and sub-tropics (USDA-GRIN 2007). In various islands in the Pacific region, P. vaginatum is found in coastal sunny areas, near beaches and sometimes on the beach, in brackish marshy areas and mangrove swamps (PIER, 2007). It is best suited to compacted inorganic marsh soils of moderate salinity (USDA-NRCS, 2007), and is tolerant of drought, salt, a wide range of soil pH, extended periods of low light intensity, and flooding or extended wet periods (Haynes et al. undated).
seashore paspalum (Paspalum vaginatum) propagates asexually using its stolons and rhizomes. It more often propagates through sprigs, plugs and sod than through seeds. (USDA-NRCS, 2007)
Compiler: IUCN/SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG) with support from ASB Community Trust, New Zealand
Publication date: 2008-04-17
Recommended citation: Global Invasive Species Database (2017) Species profile: Paspalum vaginatum. Downloaded from http://www.iucngisd.org/gisd/speciesname/Paspalum+vaginatum on 16-12-2017.