Paspalum plicatulum

brownseed paspalum, brownseed paspale


Leaf Arrangement


Leaf Margin


Leaf Type


Leaf Shape


Growth Form


Flower Color


Flower Month

April - November

Height (meters)

0.3 - 1.2

Milky Sap








Growing Season

Warm season

Wetland Class


Wetland Coefficient of Conservatism


Prairie Coefficient of Conservatism


Field Characters

Identification tip: Easily identified when mature by the florets which each have a large brown spot (see photo). The foliage is green to gray-green or blue-green. The leaves are firm to wiry and up to 18 inches long.

Cultural Information

Commercial seeds have a purity of 55%, there are 317,000 seeds/lb and the recommended planting rate is 10-15 lbs/acre.

Animal Use

The following information is for the genus Paspalum with note that P. ciliatifolium and P. boscianum are used most extensively. (Neither are found this database). Animals that eat the plant and its seeds: Mottled duck, Green-winged teal, Canada goose. Animals that eat its seeds: Purple gallinule, Sora rail, Ground dove, Mourning dove, Bobwhite quail, Wild turkey, Redwing blackbird, Cowbird, Junco, Pyrrhuloxia, Pine-woods sparrow, Vesper sparrow, Towhee. Animals that eat the plant: Eastern cottontail rabbit, Bison, White-tailed deer (Martin et al. 1951). Plants are sparse on most range sites; thus, this species normally contributes only a minor part of the cattle diet. The foliage becomes tough and low in palatability by midseason, but because leaves frequently remain green through much of the winter, cattle may eat large amounts after frost kills back other grasses. Extensive stands should not be grazed when spikelets are heavily infected with ergot. Grazing may be resumed with little risk after seed heads shatter.

Natural History

Considered by Diamond and Smines (1984 ) to indicate coastal prairie (by its presence as a dominate). It is also found in Fayette prairie but only on loamy alfisols and not as a dominate. It is frequently found in disturbed areas throughout Louisiana and east Texas where it prefers wet meadows, drainages ways, ditches, and prairie. It also grows in forest openings and cutover lands throughout the South (Grelen and Hughes 1984). It ranges throughout the coastal states of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina extending south into the tropics (USDA 1998). It is found in both the northern and southern hemispheres from approximately 30 degrees south and 30 degrees north latitude leading Diamond and Smiens (1985) to conclude that it is temperature limited. Diamond and Smeins also found a positive correlation with increased precipitation as well as a negative correlation with soil organic matter and pH. Durham and Kothmann (1997) reported that Paspalum plicatulum initiates growth earlier than most warm-season grasses and is grazed most heavily in the spring. It is an increaser on sites with heavy grazing, often replacing dominant grasses.


Sandy loamy prairies and open woods, savannas and fields. Also can be abundant on poorly drained silt loam soils of coastal prairies.