Interim profile, incomplete information
Taxonomic name: Bothriochloa pertusa (L.) A. Camus
Synonyms: Andropogon pertusus (L.) Willd, Holcus pertusus L.
Common names: Antigua hay (English), Barbados sour grass (English), Comagueyana (Spanish), hurricane grass (English), Indian couch grass (English), pitted beard grass (English), pitted bluestem (English)
Organism type: grass
Bothriochloa pertusa is a perenial grass that has been introduced to many Caribean islands and Australia. It has established itself in many native savannah, shrubland and riparian biotas where it is able to out compete many native species due to its ability to establish new individuals via stolon growth. In these areas it establishes dense mats and shades out any slower establishing species. In Australia it is used as a stock feed due to its ability to establish in the poor dry soils of Northern Queensland.
Wagner et al (1999; as seen in PIER, 2008) describes Bothriochloa pertusa as a "sprawling perrenial... 30-100m tall, hollow, freely branching, (leaves) 0.7-1.2mm long; blades 3-4mm wide, with scattered, elongate, papillose-based hairs along margins and above ligule. Inflorescences terminal, often purplish,... 2-5cm long". For images of the species please click on the following link Images: Bothriochloa pertusa
A study by Hall & Walker (1994) assessed Bothriochloa pertusa potential use as a food source for grazing livestock in the northern areas of Queensland, Australia. It was found that in these dry grassland conditions, B. pertusa was well suited to handle grazing, competition and limited resources; which should have highlighted its potential as an invasive species. Not only did it produce the longest stolons (1.6m) but after 5 years it had also spread the most (2.7m). After 5 years it had also shown to have suppressed growth of exotic legumes, and caused native grasses to disappear from some plots. It is now an established invasive species within both Northern and Central Queensland. B. pertusa is also used for erosion control, a revegetator and has potential as a lawn/turf species. It is also a primary feed for Rusa Deer (Cervus timorensis russa) on New Caledonia (Spaggiari & Garine-Wichatitsky, 2006).
Native range: South-East Asia: Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, the Guangdong; Sichuan and Yunnan provinces of China, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka
Known introduced range: Australia (Queensland and Northern Territory), New Caledonia, the Hawaiian Islands, Midway Atoll; as well as many areas of the Carribean and North America.
Local dispersal methods
On animals: Moved around by animals, birds and humans (Anguilla National Trust, 2007)
Physical: On the USA, Virgin Islands it has been suggested that Bothriochloa pertusa should be mechanically removed and the area immediately replanted with native seedlings of suitable trees and taller shrubs, which will prevent this shade intolerant grass from re-establishing itself (McNair & Lombard, 2004), however the applicability of this solution to other locations is not known.
Bothriochloa pertusa can reproduce by both seed and stolon growth (Hall & Walker, 1994).
Compiled by: IUCN SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG) with support from the Overseas Territories Environmental Programme (OTEP) project XOT603, a joint project with the Cayman Islands Government - Department of Environment
Last Modified: Wednesday, 2 June 2010