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Gynerium sagittatum - (Aubl.) P.Beauv.

Common Name Uva Grass
Family Poaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Rocky thickets, gravel bars, along rivers, and in rocky, brushy stream beds, at elevations of 300 - 700 metres[331 ].
Range S. America - Argentina and Paraguay, north through S. America to the Caribbean and through Central America to Guatemala.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Wet Soil Water Plants Full sun
Gynerium sagittatum Uva Grass Gabriele Kothe-Heinrich
Gynerium sagittatum Uva Grass


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Gynerium sagittatum is an evergreen Perennial growing to 4 m (13ft) by 0.4 m (1ft 4in) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10. The flowers are pollinated by Wind. The plant is not self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist or wet soil and can grow in water.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Aira gigantea Steud. Arundo fastuosa Willd. ex Steud. Arundo rugii Molina Arundo saccharoides (Humb. & Bonpl.) Poir Arundo sagittata (Aubl.) Pers. Cynodon gynerium Raspail Gynerium levyi E.Fourn. Gynerium parviflorum Nees Gynerium procerum P.Beauv. Gynerium saccharoides Humb. & Bonpl. Saccharum sagittatum Aubl.


Edible Uses

None known


Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

The stems are used to treat snakebites[348 ].


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Other Uses

Agroforestry Uses: Uva grass provides cover for wildlife and protects stream banks from erosion[692 ]. Other Uses: The culms lack the strength and toughness of hardwoods and bamboo but still are used for many purposes, including as long arrows, for making trellises and lattices, as slats, as poles for propelling canoes, for light construction work, plant supports etc[46 , 317 , 521 , 692 ]. Sections of smaller stems are used to make earplugs and the bases of feather 'flowers' which are hung on necklaces[521 ]. The leaves are used for thatching, and for weaving mats, baskets, and hats[692 ].

Special Uses

Carbon Farming


Cultivation details

Fodder: Bank  Industrial Crop: Biomass  Management: Hay  Regional Crop

An aquatic plant; it grows best in a moisture-retentive, fertile, humus-rich soil, or in in shallow water, and a position in full sun[200 ]. Plants can produce large lateral runners which may extend for considerable distances[315 ]. Horizontal runners or rhizomes, both surface or underground, are constantly active and establish new plants or clumps as far as 20 metres from the parent plant[692 ]. If not controlled, the plant slowly invades wet bottomland pastures and eliminates forage plants. Periodic mowing appears to be adequate for control of advancing clumps[692 ]. Growth of uva grass is rapid. Nursery seedlings reached heights of 20, 30 , and 50 cm after 1, 2 , and 4 months. How long seedlings take to reach maturity and how rapidly suckers grow is unknown. Theoretically, baring catastrophes and invasion and shading by trees, individual plants can endure indefinitely. Culms of Amazon Basin plants produced close to 200 leaves during their lifetimes, having from 19 to 28 living leaves at a time. Unbranched culms die after flowering, but only the branches of branched culms die[692 ]. A dioecious species, both male and female forms need to be grown if seed is required.

Carbon Farming

  • Fodder: Bank  Fodder banks are plantings of high-quality fodder species. Their goal is to maintain healthy productive animals. They can be utilized all year, but are designed to bridge the forage scarcity of annual dry seasons. Fodder bank plants are usually trees or shrubs, and often legumes. The relatively deep roots of these woody perennials allow them to reach soil nutrients and moisture not available to grasses and herbaceous plants.
  • Industrial Crop: Biomass  Three broad categories: bamboos, resprouting woody plants, and giant grasses. uses include: protein, materials (paper, building materials, fibers, biochar etc.), chemicals (biobased chemicals), energy - biofuels
  • Management: Hay  Cut to the ground and harvested annually. Non-destructive management systems maintaining the soil organic carbon.
  • Regional Crop  These crops have been domesticated and cultivated regionally but have not been adopted elsewhere and are typically not traded globally, Examples in this broad category include perennial cottons and many nuts and staple fruits.


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Seed - Division of the rhizomes.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Shuru'. Cana-do-rio, cana-flecha, cana-frecha, ubá and cana-brava in Brazil, caña brava in Peru and Colombia, chuchío in eastern Bolivia, and tañil in Guatemala and other Spanish speaking countries. It is known in English as wildcane or "wild cane", while arrow cane

Found In

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

Argentina, Brazil, North America, Paraguay, South America, USA

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.

If not controlled, the plant slowly invades wet bottomland pastures and eliminates forage plants. Periodic mowing appears to be adequate for control of advancing clumps[692 ].

Conservation Status

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

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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Expert comment


(Aubl.) P.Beauv.

Botanical References

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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