Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Digitaria eriantha
Steud., Poaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Other Latin names:  Digitaria decumbens Stent; Digitaria pentzii Stent

Common name(s): [more details]

English: common finger grass, digit grass, pangola grass, woolly finger grass

French: digitaria

Spanish: pangola, pasto pangola

Habit:  grass

Description: 

Genus: "Annuals or perennials, usually stoloniferous; culms decumbent, or ascending to erect and tufted.  Sheaths glabrous to pubescent, ligule short, scarious or membranous; blades linear to linear-lanceolate, flat.  Inflorescence composed of racemes, these digitate or borne upon an elongated axis, rarely solitary, sometimes with secondary branches, rachis flat, winged or trigonous; spikelets 2-flowered, in appressed groups of 1-5 or more, first floret reduced to a sterile lemma, often similar in texture to glumes, second floret perfect, lanceolate to oblong-elliptic, dorsiventrally plano-convex; first glume small or absent, second glume membranous, as long as the spikelet, or much shorter and exposing the second lemma; first lemma as long as the spikelet, rarely greatly reduced, membranous, prominently nerved, usually pubescent, the hairs usually in lines between the first and second lateral nerves and along margins; second lemma chartaceous to cartilaginous, finely longitudinally striate, margins flat, hyaline, enfolding and concealing most of the palea, apex subacute to subacuminate, rarely beaked; second palea of similar texture to second lemma, finely 2-nerved, with broad, inflexed edges; stamens 3.  Caryopsis oblong, plano-convex in cross section, usually acute to subacute." (Wagner et al., 1999; pp. 1530, 1907).

Species:  "Perennial, the culms rooting at nodes, 37-45 cm high; leaf blades and sheaths glabrous, the ligule ciliate, the blades 10-20 cm long, 2-5 mm broad; racemes digitate, 5-7" (Smith, 1979; p. 326).

"A tightly caespitose perennial, often provided with well developed runners; base surrounded by hairy cataphylls and old leaf sheath remnants.  Culms 40-120 cm., ascending to erect, glabrous, nodes dark and glabrous.  Leaf sheaths scaberulous, glabrous or loosely hairy.  Ligule 2-4 mm long, sutriangular, shortly ciliate.  Leaf laminae 5-20 x 0.2-0.4 (0.7) mm, linear, flat to involute, minutely scaberulous on both surfaces, often with a few bulbous based bristles near the base, scabrous along the margins.  Inflorescence composed of 3-10 racemes, 5-20 cm long, erect, (2) 3-6 together in a inferior whorl, sometimes a few solitary along a short common axis, and mostly 2-4 together in a second, superior whorl.  Rachis triquetrous, narrowly winged, up to 0.5 mm broad, smooth to scaberulous, with scabrous margins.  Pedicels 2-nate, 0.5-2.5 mm long, subterete to subtriangular, scabrous, broadened at the apex. Spikelets 2.2-3.5 mm long, oblong.  Inferior glume up to 0.5 mm long, ovate to triangular, sometimes acuminate and ciliate.  Superior glume 1/2 2/3 of the spikelet, oblong triangular, 3-nerved, appressed hairy, hairs fine, smooth, acute.  Inferior lemma as long as the spikelet, oblong, 7-nerved, appressed hairy, hairs fine, smooth, acute.  Inferior lemma as long as the spikelet, oblong, 7-nerved, nerves smooth or slightly scaberulous, appressed hairy, with or without bristle-hairs.  Superior lemma somewhat shorter than the spikelet, oblong, acute, yellowish green to pale brown  (Exell et al., 1969; pp. 172-173).

Description from GrassBase.

Habitat/ecology:  "It will grow in a range of soils and tolerates drought and high soil acidity.  It does not tolerate prolonged waterlogging or alkaline conditions.  Growth is most prolific in moist, fertile, well drained soil in areas where annual rainfall exceeds 800 mm." (Csurhes & Edwards, 1998; p. 156).

Propagation:  Seed, locally vegetatively (rooting from nodes).

Native range:  Southern Africa; cultivated and naturalized elsewhere (GRIN).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Isabela Group
Isabela Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Isabela Group
Volcán Sierra Negra, Isabela Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
San Cristóbal Group
San Cristóbal Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Santa Cruz Group
Santa Cruz Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Vanua Levu Island introduced
Smith, Albert C. (1979) (p. 326)
Cultivated? Voucher cited: DA 15295
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island introduced
Smith, Albert C. (1979) (p. 326)
Cultivated? Voucher cited: DA 12315
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawai‘i (Big) Island introduced
invasive
Herbst, Derral R./Clayton, W. D. (1998) (p. 23)
Voucher cited: Fagerlund & Mitchell 224 (BISH)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Kaho‘olawe Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (pp. 1530, 1907)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Kaua‘i Island introduced
invasive
Staples, George W./Imada, Clyde T./Herbst, Derral R. (2003) (p. 17)
Voucher cited: C. Corn s.n. (BISH 667056)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Maui Island introduced
invasive
Herbst, Derral R./Clayton, W. D. (1998) (p. 23)
Voucher cited: Hosaka 2446 (BISH)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Maui Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Oppenheimer, Hank L. (2004) (p. 15)
East Maui. Vouchers cited: E.Y. Hosaka 2446 (BISH), Oppenheimer, F. Duvall & P. Baldwin H90204 (BISH, PTBG)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
invasive
Herbst, Derral R./Clayton, W. D. (1998) (p. 23)
Voucher cited: BISH 448178
New Caledonia
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Islands   Swarbrick, John T. (1997) (p. 91)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Palau Islands (main island group)   Lorence, David H./Flynn, Tim (2010) (p. 15)
Wallis and Futuna
Wallis and Futuna (Horne) Islands
Wallis and Futuna Islands   Waterhouse, D. F. (1997) (p. 61)
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Australia
Australia (continental)
Northern Territory introduced
cultivated
Csurhes, S./Edwards, R. (1998) (p. 156)
Australia
Australia (continental)
Queensland introduced
invasive
cultivated
Csurhes, S./Edwards, R. (1998) (p. 156)
Colombia
Colombia
Colombia (Republic of) introduced
invasive
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Naturalized
Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Costa Rica (Republic of) introduced
invasive
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Guanacaste
Naturalized
United States (west coast)
United States (west coast states)
USA (California) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Also reported from
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
United States (other states) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Arizona, New Mexico
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
USA (Florida) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)


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This page was created on 1 JAN 1999 and was last updated on 14 APR 2013.