Hyparrhenia rufa - (Nees) Stapf
Jaragua
Other English Common Names: Faragua Grass, Jaragua Grass, Yaragua Grass
Other Common Names: jaraguagrass
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Hyparrhenia rufa (Nees) Stapf (TSN 41781)
Spanish Common Names: Puntero
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.131630
Element Code: PMPOA3A020
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Grass Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Monocotyledoneae Cyperales Poaceae Hyparrhenia
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
Concept Reference Code: B94KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Hyparrhenia rufa
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: GNR
Global Status Last Reviewed: 10Sep2002
Global Status Last Changed: 10Sep2002
Rounded Global Status: GNR - Not Yet Ranked
Reasons: Escaped exotic plant known in Florida and Hawaii. Since having been introduced in 1940 as a potential forage for cattle, Hyparrhenia rufa has colonized many parts of coastal Queensland, Australia. It is now widespread, occurring along road edges and road reserves throughout the North and South Kennedy, Port Curtis, Wide Bay and Moreton pastoral districts even though it is has been long rejected for forage. Introduced in Africa and Brazil as a forage for cattle. Of serious weed status in Colombia; principle weed status in Honduras; unknown weed status in Brazil, Guatemala and Ecuador.
Nation: United States
National Status: NNA

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Florida (SNA), Hawaii (SNA)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Planted and naturalized in Puerto Rico; introduced into tropical America, a native of Africa (Liogier 1982). Very common throughout Tropical Africa in moist situations, but introduced into many parts of South-east Asia, including India and Burma and also into South America (Bor 1960). Occurs naturally throughout tropical Africa, but widespread in Central and South America also (Skerman and Riveros 1990). Introduced to Latin America from Guatemala to Venezuela and Brazil (Swallen 1943). Introduced as a forage grass, sparingly cultivated and escaping in the tropics of the New World (Piauí, Brazil, Martius, the type); originally introduced from tropical Africa. Little known in Mexico and doubtless a recent introduction, the earliest known collections made in 1963 (McVaugh 1983). Found in Veracruz, Mexico, south to Panama, Peru and Brazil; Cuba, Jamaica; throughout Africa, where it is native. Ecologically wide-ranging throughout Panama (Croat 1978). The species was originally introduced to the lowland region of Pacific coastal Panama from Costa Rica by a farmer during the 1930's (Canto 1968 in Rattray 1973). It has since spread prolifically to the point where has occupied 75% of that region's pasture land (Rattray 1973)

Population Size Comments: The most widespread pasture grass in tropical Central and South America (Judd 1979). This species is the most abundant grass along roadsides in the Canal Zone and one of the most widely used forage grasses in lowland Panama (Croat 1978).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Planted and naturalized in Puerto Rico; introduced into tropical America, a native of Africa (Liogier 1982). Very common throughout Tropical Africa in moist situations, but introduced into many parts of South-east Asia, including India and Burma and also into South America (Bor 1960). Occurs naturally throughout tropical Africa, but widespread in Central and South America also (Skerman and Riveros 1990). Introduced to Latin America from Guatemala to Venezuela and Brazil (Swallen 1943). Introduced as a forage grass, sparingly cultivated and escaping in the tropics of the New World (Piauí, Brazil, Martius, the type); originally introduced from tropical Africa. Little known in Mexico and doubtless a recent introduction, the earliest known collections made in 1963 (McVaugh 1983). Found in Veracruz, Mexico, south to Panama, Peru and Brazil; Cuba, Jamaica; throughout Africa, where it is native. Ecologically wide-ranging throughout Panama (Croat 1978). The species was originally introduced to the lowland region of Pacific coastal Panama from Costa Rica by a farmer during the 1930's (Canto 1968 in Rattray 1973). It has since spread prolifically to the point where has occupied 75% of that region's pasture land (Rattray 1973)

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The distribution shown may be incomplete, particularly for some rapidly spreading exotic species.

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States FLexotic, HIexotic

Range Map
No map available.

Ecology & Life History
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General Description: A very variable perennial grass from 60-240 cm high. Panicle loose and narrow up to 50 cm long, with slightly spreading or contiguous racemes with shortly hairy or nearly glabrous spikelets 3.5-5 mm long. The rusty brown hairs on the spikelets and the racemes terminally exserte from the spatheoles distinguish it from H. filipendula and H. hirta (Nappper 1965 in Skerman and Riveros 1990). The flowering stems have little leaf. The sheaths of the leaves enclose about half the length of each internode, giving the culm a banded appearance (Skerman and Riveros 1990).
Technical Description: Perennial grass; culms erect in large dense clumps 1-2.5 m high, rarely less, glabrous; sheaths keeled toward the summit, glabrous or papillose-hirsute on the margins toward the summit and in the throat; ligule brown, membranaceous, 2-4 mm long; blades linear, elongate, 2-8 mm wide, glabrous or scaberulous, the margins sometimes scabrous; inflorescence 20-40 cm long, loose and open, composed of several to numerous compound branches from the upper nodes; paairs of racemes terminating the ultimate branchlets, exserted from the narrow inconspicuous spathes, the peduncles commonly 4-6 cm long, flexuous, pilose; racemes 2-3 cm long, reddish-brown, the rachis and sterile pedicels densely cilieate with rufous or sometims yellowish hairs; sessile spikelets 3-4 mm long; first glume acute or subobtuse, sparsely to densely covered with red hairs; awns 15-20 mm long, twice-geniculate, brown, the lower segments tighltly twisted, hisidulous; pedicellate spikele as large as the sessile, acute, awnless (Swallen 1943).
Duration: PERENNIAL
Reproduction Comments: In the eastern llanos of Venezuela, inflorescences are first observed in october and full bloom is in November. Fruits are anticipated to mature in December (Marin 1985). The following info. derived from observations in vicinity of Cañas in province of Guanacaste, Costa Rica: The first sign of tillers differentiating to become flower stlks was noted on 28 October, the first week after the heaviest rains of the wet season. On 14 November inflorescences began to emerge from their enveloping sheaths. Pollination commenced as florets emerged from the sheath, and anthers continued to appear and burst until 23 December. According to Gonzales & Pacheco (1966) in the ever-wet climate of the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica Hyparrhenia rufa is stimulated to flower twice a year, but produces poor seed crops. A single flowering that results in a heavy seed crop is characteristic of the strongly seasonal climate of Cañas. Florets first to be pollinated began to drop from the plants with mature caryopses on about 9 December. Dissemination continued until approximately 20 January. It appears to take approximately 3 weeks from pollination to dissemination of the same floret. Rather violent gusty winds, which characterize the dry season in this region, whip the florets loose. The small disseminule may be carried as a bur by fur-bearing animals. The twice genicculate awn is highly hygrodcopic is definitely effficient in moving florets over the ground locally. Young caryopses stripped from panicles gave good germination 6 months later, showing that early formed seeds are quite viable. There is little if any post-dissemination dormancy. The normal delay of several months (until May) of natural germination is therefore a consequence of moisture shortage during the dry season. Caryopses require light for prompt and complete germination. Only those caropses germinte which are entrapped in the upper part of the residual patches of litter, or in the upper extremities of cracks into which they have fallen. Agreda & Cuany (1962) found the species a short-day plant with a critical daylength of 12 hours and 15 minutes (Daubenmire 1972). Produces abundant viable seed from which it is easily established. Seed germination is about 25 percent, decreasing to practically nil in ten months (Kemp, Mackenzie & Romney 1971 in Skerman and Riveros 1990).
Known Pests: ELICOTYLENCHUS PSEUDOPAXILLI, PRATYLENCHUS BRACHYURUS, LONGIDORUS LAEVICAPITATUS (STANTON, ETAL. 1989).
Ecology Comments: Sprouting in April was provoked by February-March rains of 1981. Seeding occurs at the end of the rainy season for this species. This is considered advantageous in that seeds are less likely to be devastated by fungal attack and wind facilitates better dispersal in this season. The species has been derived as competitive/stress tolerant on a scale synthesized by Grime (1974;1978). Another factor contributing to competitive success of this species is its ability to produce a high quantity of seeds relative to rate of vegetative growth as compared to other grasses, deeming it a successful colonizer species (Marin 1985). The following info. is derived from a study of the species in Guanacaste, Costa Rica: It is the only herbaceous plant that prospers under annual burning in the most prevalent type of derived savanna in northwestern Costa Rica. The potential for growth is greatly reduced on shallow soil, of which it is remarkably tolerant, and still more on areas closely grazed by livestock where maximum height of the inflorescence may be less than .5 m. Prospers only under annual burning. Within a very few days after the fire new basal shoots start to replace those killed by the burning. The earlier the burning the more vigorous the growth of the new shoots. Within a few days of burning, the basal tufts are again evident and show that green tissue near the ground surface was not damaged. Burning also discourages nearly all competing vascular plants. As a rule, damage to the stand a a whole after burning is negligible (Daubenmire 1972). Relatively intolerant of shade, appearing among trees only where fire runs through the forest frequentlly and forest grasses such as Oplismenus are not already established. No significant fungus, bacterial or virus diseases affect Hyparrhenia in the Cañas area, although a minor leaf-spot is everywhere evident (Daubenmire 1972). Changes were assessed in population density and species compositon of the vegetationin a 3 ha permanent plot of a Trachypogon savanna protected against fire and grazing for 25 years (1961-1968) at the Biological Station of the Llanos in Calabozo, Venezuela: Invasion of H. rufa after 1977 displaced the original shorter grasses. Areas of the Biological station have been completely covered by H. rufa. The high potential of H. rufa for savanna invasion might be associated to its reproductive pattern, dispersal mechanisms (Silva & Ataroff 1985 in San Jose 1991) and annual distribution of the assimilatory leaf area (Rincon 1977 in San Jose 1991). Of several species tested in the field for susceptibility to spittlebug (Deois flavopicta), H. rufa was among the most resistant (Cosenza 1989). It is susceptible to frost; requires between 600-1400 mm annual rainfall; on retentive soils withstands a dry season of six months in the llanos of Colombia and in Bolivia; stands waterlogging and temporary flooding, but not permanent flooding (Skerman and Riveros 1990). Withstands close grazing (Semple 1970 in Skerman and Riveros 1990) if not applied continuously; tolerates seasonal burning (Skerman and Riveros 1990). Has good disease resistance (Skerman and Riveros 1990). In the Canal Zone of Panama the species forms virtually complete stands where grazed and burned (Croat 1978).
Habitat Comments: Vigorous in lithosols, grumusols and zonal soils, so long as the water table is not near the surface (Daubenmire 1972). Gonzalez & Pacheco (1966) found that Hyparrhenia rufa has low fertility requirements, grows best on heavy soils, and performs well up to 1600 m elevation, but Maroto (1955) says its development is retarded above 1000 m, and the plants are severely injured when temperatures drop as low as 3 degrees C. (Daubenmire 1972). In Colombia occurs between 0 and 2000 m altitude (Skerman and Riveros 1990). Widespread in the hot lowlands of Colombia, extending to 2000 m. It has become naturalized in dry areas, spreading on to steep hillsides and rolling plains (Crowder etal. 19??).
Economic Attributes
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Economic Uses: FORAGE/BROWSE
Economic Comments: In Africa it has an excellent reputation as a fodder for grazing animals, as, although it has a strong stem, grazing induces the production of a great deal of leaf. It can be used for silage and is also cut and fed to stock (Bor 1960). H. rufa is a common native pasture plant throughout East Africa and Latin America, used mainly for beef cattle production. It is used in Africa as a coarse thatching grass and as a general purpose straw, and produces a useful pulp for paper (Skerman and Riveros 1990). (Judd
Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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  • Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 2007a. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Vol. 24. Magnoliophyta: Commelinidae (in part): Poaceae, part 1. Oxford Univ. Press, New York. xxviii + 911 pp.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

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