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Useful Temperate Plants

Achnatherum miliaceum

(L.) P.Beauv.


We are using Achnatherum miliaceum as the correct name for this taxon, following the treatment in the Kew 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families' (http://wcsp.science.kew.org/namedetail.do?name_id=387299). However, several other sources, including 'The Euro+Med OlantBase (http://ww2.bgbm.org/EuroPlusMed/PTaxonDetail.asp?NameCache=Piptatherum miliaceum&PTRefFk=7100000) do not accept this and treat this taxon as Piptatherum miliaceum (L.) Coss. To further complicate matters, the name Oloptum miliaceum (L.) Röser & Hamasha has been proposed in Pl. Syst. Evol. 298: 365 (2012).

+ Synonyms

Agrostis berica Steud.

Agrostis comosa Poir.

Agrostis dispar Steud.

Agrostis graeca Sibth.

Agrostis miliacea L.

Agrostis milium-comosum Poir.

Agrostis monandra Hornem.

Agrostis oseroensis Seenus

Agrostis sepium Jacq.

Agrostis sepium L.

Milium arundinaceum Sm.

Milium comosum Poir.

Milium frutescens Link

Milium gaditanum Steud.

Milium microspermum Hornem.

Milium multiflorum Cav.

Milium pauciflorum Trin.

Milium thomasii Duby

Nassella multiflora Druce

Oloptum miliaceum (L.) Röser & Hamasha

Oloptum thomasii (Duby) Banfi & Galasso

Oryzopsis miliacea (L.) Asch. & Schweinf.

Oryzopsis multiflora Druce

Oryzopsis pauciflora Bég. & Vacc.

Oryzopsis thomasii (Duby) P.Silva

Piptatherum comosum (Poir.) Roem. & Schult.

Piptatherum frutescens Schult.

Piptatherum miliaceum (L.) Coss.

Piptatherum multiflorum P.Beauv.

Piptatherum thomasii (Duby) Kunth

Piptatherum verticillatum Vayr.

Stipa miliacea (L.) Hoover

Urachne comosa B.D.Jacks.

Urachne frutescens Link

Urachne miliacea (L.) K.Koch

Urachne multiflora Link

Urachne parviflora Trin.

Urachne pauciflora Boiss.

Urachne thomasii (Duby) Steud.

Common Name:

No Image.

General Information

Achnatherum miliaceum is a clump-forming, perennial grass with erect to ascending culms 100 - 150cm long.
The plant is used in soil remediation projects, where it can be used to help remove various metals from the soil.
The plant has become naturalized in many areas outside its native range and is considred to be an invasive weed in several of these areas[
Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk
A very good website detailing weed species that have been introduced into the Pacific Islands.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References


Macaronesia, throughout the Mediterranean and east to Iraq, Iran and the Arabian Peninsula


Not known


Weed PotentialYes
Other Uses Rating *  *  *
Height1.20 m
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

Not known

Edible Uses

None known


None known

Agroforestry Uses:

Achnatherum miliaceum is a fast-growing plant with high biomass production and a high density of fine roots. It can accumulate trace elements such as copper, lead or zinc without showing any toxicity symptoms. It accumulates these metals in its foliage, meaning it can be used to remove the metals from the soil by cutting and removing the foliage at intervals. In addition, its network of fine roots means that it helps stabilize the soil and reduce erosion. It succeeds in soils contaminated with these metals, but tends to grow slowly. By planting it with a legume to add nitrogen and other nutrients to the soil (Bituminaria bituminosa has proven to be very successful), growth is enhanced and overall coverage of the ground much increased.

Other Uses

None known


Seed -
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2023-12-08. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Achnatherum+miliaceum>

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