The genera Brachiaria and Urochloa are closely related, and the two are united by some authors. See Veldkamp, Taxon 45 (1986) 319. However, this unification is not accepted by all authors - see Flora of China Vol 22 pp520-523 2006. We are following the treatment in the Flora of China and the Kew 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families', and treating the two genera as distinct[
Brachiaria and Urochloa are distinguished mainly by habit, Urochloa having rather more flattened, cuspidate spikelets enclosing a pronounced mucro from the upper lemma. The different spikelet orientation is also characteristic, though not obvious when the spikelets are paired. In Urochloa the lower glume faces outward, whereas in Brachiaria it lies against the rachis[
Brachiaria chennaveeraiana Basappa & Muniy.
Brachiaria marselinii Gawade & Gavade
Brachiaria multispiculata H.Scholz
Brachiaria regularis nidulans (Mez) Täckh.
Echinochloa ramosa (L.) Roberty
Panicum arvense Kunth
Panicum bispiculatum Chiov.
Panicum brachylachnum Steud.
Panicum breviradiatum Hochst.
Panicum canescens Roth
Panicum cognatissimum Steud.
Panicum grossarium J.Koenig
Panicum nidulans Mez
Panicum ozogonum Steud.
Panicum pallidum Peter
Panicum petiveri puberulum Chiov.
Panicum ramosum L.
Panicum sorghum Steud.
Panicum supervacuum C.B.Clarke
Setaria canescens (Roem. & Schult.) Kunth
Urochloa ramosa (L.) T.Q.Nguyen
Urochloa supervacua (Clarke) Noltie
Brachiaria ramosa is an annual to short-lived perennial, clump-forming grass with erect to prostrate culms 30 - 60cm tall that root at their lower nodes[
The plant is sometimes cultivated in India for its edible seed[
]. It is also grown to provide ground cover, stabilize the soil and reclaim polluted soils.
Browntop millet can become weedy, and may interfere with crop harvest. It produces large amounts of seed and can readily regrow from a viable seed bank in the soil, even after several years. It has been found to reduce yield and lower quality of cotton in the southeastern United States[
The plant can accumulate toxic/lethal levels of nitrate and should not be fed to livestock if the plant has been stressed by droughty or cold conditions[
Tropical Africa to Asia - southern China, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia.
Dry places with a distinct dry season, along roads, burned teak forest, grassy slopes, Casuarina savannah, abandoned fields, at elevations up to 400 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Wild
Brachiaria ramosa is a plant of the wet, seasonally dry and semi-arid tropics, where it is found at elevations up to 2,500 metres. It is also cultivated in some warm temperate regions, such as southeastern USA[
]. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 17 - 26°c, but can tolerate 9 - 32°c[
]. It will not survive extended periods in temperature lower than 11°c[
]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 500 - 800mm, but tolerates 440 - 900mm[
Prefers a position in full sun, tolerating light shade[
]. Grows best in a well-drained, sandy to loamy soil, succeeding in shallow, rocky soils[
]. Prefers a pH in the range 7 - 7.5, tolerating 6.5 - 8[
]. Another report gives the range as 5 - 7.5[
]. Plants are intolerant of drought[
When grown as a grain crop, it performs best when planted in rocky, shallow soils, fertilized and kept free of weeds[
Browntop millet is a short day (<12 hour) plant that will begin to set seed in 60 days. It can produce around 1.8 tonnes of seed per hectare[
]. Yields under rainfed conditions may be 2 - 4 tonnes per hectare, with higher yields possible under irrigation[
There are taller varieties with non-shattering seedheads that are better suited for grain production[
Seed - cooked[
]. It is used as a boiled whole grain, porridge, or unleavened bread[
]. Eaten as a millet, it is considered to be superior to the grain obtained from Panicum sumatrense[
The plant is used to suppress root-knot nematode populations in tomato and pepper crops in the Southeast USA[
It is grown as a fast-growing catch crop between commodity crops, and is not known to be allelopathic[
The plant is used as a fast-growing cover for erosion control. It is used as a nurse crop in the Southeast until a perennial grass cover is established[
It also has the ability to accumulate significant amounts of lead and zinc in shoot and root tissues, making it an important plant for the remediation of contaminated soils277].
Seed - sow in situ. The optimal air temperature for germination is between 17 - 26°c[