Crab/Finger Grass

Digitaria diagonalis?

Digitaria sp. in Kenya, photo © by Michael Plagens

Observed growing among pasture grasses at Eldoret, Kenya. January 2014.

From Wikipedia: Digitaria is a genus of about 300 species of grass native to tropical and warm temperate regions. Common names include crabgrass, finger-grass, and fonio. They are slender monocotyledonous annual and perennial lawn, pasture, and forage plants; some are often considered lawn pests. Digitus is the Latin word for "finger", and they are distinguished by the long, finger-like inflorescences they produce. All Digitaria species have similar growth habits and flowering structures, but species are separated by minor differences in the flower structures and leaf pubescence. They typically have spreading stems with wide, flat leaf blades that lie on the ground with the tips ascending. The inflorescence is a panicle in which the spike-like branches are arranged in a digitate fashion. The spikelets are arranged in two rows on an angled or winged rachis. Each spikelet has two florets, only one of which is fertile. The first bracts at the base of the spikelets are either very minute or absent.

Species of crabgrass, Digitaria, in Kenya, photo © Michael Plagens

Poaceae -- Grass Family

More Information:

Kenya Natural History

Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created on 26 June 2014.