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Echinochloa polystachya - (Kunth) Hitchc.

Common Name Aleman Grass. German grass
Family Poaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None Known
Habitats Aleman grass is an aquatic or semi-aquatic perennial grass. It forms dense stands in swampy areas and along banks of watercourses.
Range Native to North America, Mesoamerica, South America. Naturalized in Tropical and southern Africa, tropical Asia, southern South America and Hawaii. Introduced to northern Australia but not widespread.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Tender Moist Soil Wet Soil Water Plants Full sun
Echinochloa polystachya Aleman Grass. German grass
Echinochloa polystachya Aleman Grass. German grass


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Physical Characteristics

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Echinochloa polystachya is a PERENNIAL growing to 2 m (6ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline and saline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist or wet soil and can grow in water.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Echinochloa spectabilis (Nees) Link. Oplismenus polystachyus Kunth. Oplismenus spectabilis (Trin.) Kunth. Orthopogon hirsutus Spreng. ex Steud. [Invalid]. Panicum bonplandianum Steud. Panicum phyllanthum Steud.Panicum polystachyum (Kunth) Steud. [Illegitimate]. Panicum spectabile Nees ex Trin. Pseudechinolaena spectabilis (Nees ex Trin.) Herter


Edible Uses

None Known

Medicinal Uses

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None Known

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Other Uses

Carbon Farming Solutions - Industrial Crop: biomass (Crops grown for non-food uses. Industrial crops provide resources in three main categories: materials, chemicals, and energy. Traditional materials include lumber and thatch, paper and cardboard, and textiles) [1-1].

Cultivation details

Industrial Crop: Biomass  Management: Hay  New Crop

Climate: warm temperate to tropical. Humidity: humid. Tolerates a wide range of soil fertility, but prefers soils of medium to high fertility. Grows in clay soils. It is adapted to soil pH 4.0–8.0 and has some resistance to sodicity . Very tolerant of poor drainage. Its natural habitat is seasonally flooded wetlands, but can grow under very high rainfall (>1,900 mm) conditions. Generally no growth under dry conditions unless there is a high water table, but re-establishes from stems and stolons with subsequent flooding. Normally grown in water to 1 m depth but can persist for short periods in deeper water to 3 m. Grows best in wet or seasonally flooded areas, where flooding can occur for 7–12 months of the year. No frost tolerance. Full sunlight [415]. Aleman grass is a high yielding species with average DM yields of 8-12 t/ha in South America and 10-20 t/ha in Australia. It was reported to yield as much as 99 tons DM/ha in Brazil. In Australia, it has been introduced to enhance the productivity of Para grass stands. In India it was reported to yield much higher green biomass, dry matter and crude protein than Para grass. Carbon Farming Solutions - Cultivation: new crop. Management: hay. (Describes the non-destructive management systems that are used in cultivation) [1-1].

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Aleman grass spreads vegetatively when broken stems, runners and roots are moved in water.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Aleman grass, German grass (Australia, Panama); Creeping river grass (North America); Pasto alemain (Venezuela); Pardegrao, Prasigrasi (Surinam)

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Native to North America: Mexico, USA - Florida, Louisiana, Texas. Mesoamerica: Belize, Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama. Caribbean: Antigua and Barbuda, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Puerto Rico, St. Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago. South America: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay. Native to swamps, lake shores and wet-lands. Naturalized in: Tropical and southern Africa, tropical Asia, southern South America and Hawaii. Introduced to northern Australia but not widespread.

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Aleman grass has been recognised as a serious crop weed in India, Mexico and Argentina. In southern USA, it is a significant weed of rice crops and crayfish production. It is also considered a weed in Hawaii, Sri Lanka, Chad and Zaire. In Australia, infestations have occurred in Queensland, the Northern Territory, Western Australia and northern New South Wales (NSW), where aleman grass has invaded seasonally flooded areas, swamps and the banks of watercourses.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Echinochloa colonaJungle Rice20
Echinochloa crus-galliBarnyard Millet, Barnyardgrass,32
Echinochloa frumentaceaJapanese Millet, Billion-dollar grass31


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(Kunth) Hitchc.

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Subject : Echinochloa polystachya  
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