Common Name: Dallisgrass
Scientific Name: Paspalum dilatatum
Origin: Uruguay and Argentina
Growth Curve: Early Spring - Late Fall, 50 - 120 cm tall
Planting Rate and Date: 12-15 lb. of high quality seed per acre on well prepared seedbed from early spring to early summer. Spring plantings are generally more successful.
Soil Type: Clay and Clay-loam soils, wet areas
Problem Weeds: None
Legally Labeled Herbicides: Use Roundup in spring before green up of other grasses. Weedmaster, Grazon and 2-4,D can be used for broadleaf weed control.
Pictures of Dallisgrass:
Dallisgrass is a fast growing, stout perennial for pasture. It is not suitable for hay production. It has smooth leaves, a deep root system and grows in clumps of few to many stems. Numerous leaves occur at the base of the plant, but few leaves are found on the stems. The slender stems droop when seed heads develop.
There are no cultivars, just various biotypes of common dallisgrass. Grows well with white clover and annual rye grass. Its considered to be higher in forage digestibility and palatability than bahiagrass and bremudagrass.
It is difficult to establish a good stand from seed, because of poor seed quality. It is quite winter hardy and can tolerate continuos grazing.
Dallisgrass staggers occurs several days after cattle ingest a significant amount of dallisgrass seed heads infected with an "ergot-like" fungus called Claviceps paspali. The seed heads are typically infected with the fungus in the fall as the seed head matures. The infected heads have a gray to black swellings the have a sticky sap material on them. The infected seed head contains three primary toxins, paspalinine, and paspalitrem A and B, which are the tremorgenic alkaloids. The affected animals show neurological symptoms, including trembling of the major muscles and the head, jerky uncoordinated movements, they are also spooky and sometimes aggressive.
Bush, E.W.; Controlling growth of dallisgrass with plant growth regulators. Hortscience. Alexnadria, Va. : The American Society for Horticultural Science. July 1997 (2) p. 506-508.
Watson, V.H.; Burson, B.L. Bahiagrass, carpetgrass, and dallisgrass. Forages: the science of grassland agriculture/ under the editoral authorship of Maurice E. Heath, Robert F. Barnes, Darrel S. Metcalfe; with 107 additional contributing autors. 4th ed. Ames, Iowa. Iowa State University Press, 1985. p. 255-262. ill., maps.