Grass, grass, grass.  For months there’s not enough, then for months there’s too much and it goes to seed which my goats don’t like!  However, it does make it easier to identify different varieties – I am AMAZED that I found 14 grasses just in my garden, wow!  I’d love to know what they all are, what they indicate about the soil, and which ones are good for goats and sheep etc etc.

Update 13/08/15

I am grateful to botanist Elisha Emmanuel for his comment below which identified the grasses – I have added his names beside the photos.    The information I learnt by googling using the names Elisha provided.  Thanks Elisha!



Setaria barbata-

Common name -Bristly fox tail.

Hausa – gambadawari

Native to tropical Africa and tropical Asia. If there are other plants around, it tends to grow straight up, but if there is space it will flatten on the ground like so:


My goats and sheep really like it! In August when all the other grasses have gone to seed, this one is still green and juicy.



Sporobolus pyramidalis

Common name: cat’s tail grass

Sporobolus is from the Greek meaning “seed” and “throw” as it drops its seeds. The sample on the left has the seed heads closed, on the right it is open and has already dropped its seeds.



Cyperus rotudus.

Common name: sedge or cyperus.

Considered the “worlds worst weed” as it is so difficult to eradicate, but it has its uses! It grows from a tuber which is apparently not so tasty but is excellent for dental health due to its antibacterial properties.



Andropogon family



Setaria pallide-fusca,

Common name – Cat tail grass

Hausa – Geron darli

A relatively good grazing species and also makes good hay.



Andropogon gayanus.

Common name gamba grass;

Hausa –Gírmán dáréé ɗáyá

Ok for animals to graze when its young, but once its gone to seed it is tough and of low nutritional value.



Thatch grass

Used, as the name suggests, for thatching!



Eragostis species.

Common name: Love grass

These grasses are good for animal fodder as the seeds have a high nutritional value.



Sporobolus pyramidalis ??



Cyperus vorsteri.

Common name: sedge



Dactyloctenium agyptium.

Common name: Crow foot root

Native to Africa. A traditional food plant used as a famine food in Africa. this little-known grain has potential to improve nutrition, boost food security, foster rural development and support sustainable landcare. Makes excellent fodder, hay and silage, the seeds are used for poultry or beer. Its an annual so needs to be re-planted.



Eragrostis species.

Common name: Wiry lovegrass

These grasses are good for animal fodder as the seeds have a high nutritional value.



Setaria pennisetum

Common name – pearl millet

Pearl millet is considered as a staple food in Africa and India where it is used to make flour, bread, porridge and “couscous”. As a feed stuff it is mainly grown to produce silage, hay or stand-over pasture grazed directly. Grain is also used as a feedstuff and by-products (bran, brewers’ grains) are available. Pearl millet is hard-hulled and should be ground before being fed to livestock. It should be finely ground: coarse grinding leads to the hard hull splintering into sharp fibres which can result in internal irritation



Eleusine indica.

Common name: Goosegrass

Hausa – Tújí

Edible seeds, a famine food but with low yields. Very persistent, not very nutritious or palatable as it is tough.



2 thoughts on “Grasses

  1. 1,18-Setaria barbata-common name: Bristly foxi-tail
    2,16-Sporobolus pyramidalis common name: cat’s tail grass
    3-Cyperus rotudus. common name: sedge or cyperus
    5-Stearia pallide-fusca, common name: Cat tail grass
    7-Andropogom gayanus. common name gamba grss
    9-Eragostis species. common name: Love grass
    12-Cyperus vorsteri. common name: sedge
    13-Dactyloctenium agyptium. common name: Crow foot root
    14-Eragrostis species. common name: Wiry lovegrass
    17-Eleusine indica. common name: Goosegrass
    15-Setaria species


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