Panicum repens L.

Panicum repens L.




Panicum convolutum P. Beauv. ex Sprengel.

Vernacular Names

Malaysia Kerunong padi, metubong, telur ikan.
American Torpedo grass.
Indonesia Benda laut (North Sumatra), suket balungen (Javanese), ramput kumaranting (Minang).
Thailand Ya-chanakat (Central), ya-khaemman (Northeast), ya-onoi (Northern).
Philippines Luya-luyahan (Tagalog), luy-a-luy-a (Visaya), maralaya (Ilokano).
Burma (Myanmar) Myet-kha.
Cambodia Smau phluk, chhlong.
Vietnam Co' cu'a gà, co' ông.
French Panic rampant.

Geographical Distributions

Panicum repens is widespread in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and other Southeast Asia countries. It  also occurs in wetter areas throughout the tropical and subtropical regions of the world.


P. repens is a perennial grass with long, sharp pointed rhizomes and also often with stolons surface. The culms are erect or decumbent, measure up to 120 cm tall and often from a knotty base.

The leaf-sheath is 4-7 cm long and hairy at the margins near the throat. The leaf-blade is linear-acuminate, measuring 7-25 cm x 2-8 cm, flat or rolled when dry, often stiff and pungent and ascending close to the stem. The ligule is a shallow membrane, measures 0.5 mm high and fringed with the whitish hairs.

The inflorescence is a narrowly oblong panicle, measures 5-20 cm long, with sparsely to moderately branched where the branches are usually ascending. The spikelets are narrowly elliptical, measure about 3 mm long, acute and often tinged with purple. The lower glume clasps the base of the spikelet and it is ⅓ the length of the spikelet. The upper glume is as long as the spikelet. The lower floret is male while the upper floret is bisexual. The caryopsis glossy is white. Flowering starts 3-4 weeks after the seedling emergence and continues throughout the year, but seed production is poor.

The rhizomes develop so fast that they give a dense sward within 5-6 months.

Ecology / Cultivation

P. repens can grow up to 2000 m altitude in the tropics on humid or marshy places, on moist open or partially shaded meadows, in paddy fields, along lagoons, canals and roadsides, and on sandy soils on the coast. It is extremely tolerant of acid soils. It cannot stand permanently flooded conditions.

Line Drawing / Photograph



  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 4: Forages.