2. Chloris gayana Kunth, Révis. Gramin. 1: 293. 1830.
非洲虎尾草 fei zhou hu wei cao
Perennial, stoloniferous. Culms erect or ascending, usually rooting at lower nodes, ± flattened, hard, 1–1.5(–2) m tall. Leaf sheaths glabrous except mouth; leaf blades flat, 15–35 cm, 2–10 mm wide, scabrous, apex acuminate; ligule ca. 0.5 mm, with long hairs behind. Racemes digitate, 5–20, ascending to spreading, 4–11 cm, greenish brown; rachis scabrous. Spikelets with 3 or 4 florets, 2-awned; lower glume 1.5–2.5 mm; upper glume 2.5–4 mm including awn-point; lemma of fertile floret elliptic to oblanceolate in side view, 2.5–3.5 mm, shortly appressed-sericeous on lower margins, usually a tuft of hairs 0.5–1.5 mm on upper margins, keel glabrous or sparsely to densely sericeous; awn 2–6 mm; second floret usually male, narrowly lanceolate or cuneate, lemma ciliate on margins, body and awn a little shorter than fertile floret; third (and fourth) florets reduced to oblong or clavate awnless scales, less than 1 mm. 2n = 20, 30, 40.
Open grassland and savanna; widely cultivated in warmer parts of China [native to Africa].
This is a forage grass, native to Africa, but now introduced and naturalized throughout the tropics and subtropics (Rhodes Grass). There are many different strains differing in habit, plant height, lemma pubescence, and awn length. It is usually a robust, strongly stoloniferous grass, but tufted forms also occur occasionally.