Urochloa P. Beauv., Ess. Agrost. 52. 1812. Blatter & McCann Bombay Grasses 143. 1935; Bor, Fl. Assam 5:260. 1940; Sultan & Stewart, Grasses W. Pak. 1:41. 1958; Bor, Grasses Burma Ceyl. Ind. Pak. 371, 1960; Bor in Rech.f., Fl. Iran. 70: 483. 1970.
Annuals or perennials. Leaf-blades linear to lanceolate; ligule represented by a line of hairs. Inflorescence composed of racemes borne upon a short common axis; rhachis ± triquetrous, rarely ribbon-like, bearing single or paired spikelets, their lower glume abaxial. Spikelets lanceolate to ovate, plano-convex, cuspidate to acuminate; lower glume mostly shorter than the spikelet; upper glume as long as the spikelet, usually membranous; lower floret male or sterile, its lemma resembling the upper glume, the palea almost as long and usually hyaline; upper lemma coriaceous to crustaceous, usually much shorter than the spikelet, obtusely rounded at the tip and mucronate, its margins covering only the edge of the palea; upper palea obtuse. Caryopsis broadly elliptic to subrotund, strongly flattened.
A genus of 11 species in the Old World tropics, mainly Africa; 1 species occurs in Pakistan.
Urochloa is distinguished form Brachiaria by its abaxial cuspidate spikelets with obtuse mucronate upper lemma, but the boundary between the genera is confused by a number of intermediate or anomalous species.
rochloa setigera (Retz.) Stapf (Brachiaria setigera (Retz.) C.E. Hubbard) usually mistakenly referred to Brachiaria was reported from two localities in Sind (Gharo, Mirpur Sakro) by Blatter and McCann (Bombay Grasses 145. 1935) but these records are unconfirmed. The species is otherwise confined to Madras, Ceylon, Burma, Thailand and tropical Africa. It differs from Urochloa panicoides in being a trailing perennial. In Asia the plants have only a mucronulate upper lemma in which respect they differ from African plants, but the two sorts are probably conspecific. The lack of a distinct mucro is doubtless why Asian plants have been mistaken for Brachiaria. The orientation of the spikelets within the raceme is a better generic character than the mucronate upper lemma, but even this is not obvious in plants where the spikelets are borne in pairs.