Plant Image
Herbarium specimen
Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Urochloa maxima - guineagrass

Synonyms: Megathyrsus maximus, Panicum maximum

Other Common Names: brown top buffel grass, buffalo grass, colonial grass, Tanganyika grass

Plant Form:Grass

Family: Poaceae

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  Grass Description -   Glossary of Grass Terminology

Origin: Introduced    Season: Warm
Habitat Description: A common and widespread weed of crops, orchards, vineyards, roadsides, and riparian areas. Listed as invasive in most areas.
Plant Communities: Disturbed Areas
Elevation: Below 3500 feet

General Description

Desc: Densely tufted clumps with rhizomes and stolons. Erect stems are infrequently branched, cylindrical, slightly flattened at the base and streaked with white wax at the nodes and internodes. Nodes are usually also densely hairy.
Identification notes: Light green, large bunches from stout rhizomes up to 12 feet tall; stem nodes densely hairy; seedhead of ascending, spreading branches up to 2 feet long, branchlets short, bearing clustered awnless spikelets, noticeably unequal glumes; ΒΌ inch ligules.
Grass Type: Perennial bunchgrass  Rhizomes: Y  Stolons: Y
Large Dense Clump (> 2 feet): Y  Bushy (highly branched): N
Height with Seedheads: Greater than 36 inches
Seedhead Structure: Branched - open and spreading  Seedhead Droops: N
Flowering Period: May - Aug

Flower Characteristics

Number of Flowers per Spikelet: Multi-flowered  Spikelets One-sided: N
Awns: Absent   Three Awns: N  Awns Bent: N

Flower and Seedhead Notes: Seedhead is up to 12 inches long and usually highly branched. Branches are ascending to spreading, the lowest are arranged in a whorl. Spikelets are 2-flowered with one sterile and one fertile floret. Spikelets are brick red when mature.

Vegetative Characteristics

Blade Hairy: N  Blade with White Margin: N  Blade Cross Section: Flat  
Blade Notes: Smooth leaf blades are 5 to 15 inches long, 1/2 to 1-1/4 inches wide and taper to a sharp point. Leaves are light green, green or bluish-green.
Sheath Hairy: Y  Tuft of Hairs Top of Sheath or Collar: Y  Ligules: Membranous and hairy
Auricles (Ear-like lobes at base of blades): N
Vegetative Notes: Sheaths are mostly smooth but densely hairy at the collar. The ligule is membranous with a hairy margin.

Forage Value: This is a fast growing and leafy grass which is palatable to livestock with good nutritional value.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 8.0  
Last Updated: Feb 16, 2020  
Content Questions/Comments: Email Jeff Schalau  
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