Animal feed resources information system

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Lemon grass (Elyonurus muticus)

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This datasheet is pending revision and updating; its contents are currently derived from FAO's Animal Feed Resources Information System (1991-2002) and from Bo Göhl's Tropical Feeds (1976-1982).


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Common names 

Lemon grass, wire lemongrass, lemon-scented grass, matrass grass, silky grass, Simon grass, sour grass, wine grass, wire grass (Quattrocchi, 2006)


Elionurus argenteus Nees, Elyonurus argenteus Nees, Lycurus muticus Spreng. (USDA, 2010)

Related feed(s) 

Tufted perennial 30-75 cm high occurring in moderately dry areas.

Densely tufted perennial grass. The filiform leaves are mostly basal, slightly aromatic when crushed. The mature inflorescences typically curl back in a sickle shape, showing spreading spikelets, covered in long, silvery hairs. These are strongly lemon-scented when crushed.


Elionurus muticus (Grassbase)

HABIT Perennial; caespitose; clumped densely. Butt sheaths herbaceous, or coriaceous; glabrous, or pubescent; persistent and investing base of culm; with compacted dead sheaths, or fibrous dead sheaths. Culms erect; 15–100 cm long. Lateral branches lacking, or sparse. Leaves mostly basal. Ligule a ciliolate membrane. Leaf-blades filiform; involute; 5–30 cm long; 1–2 mm wide; aromatic. Leaf-blade apex attenuate; filiform, or hardened.

INFLORESCENCE Inflorescence composed of racemes.

Racemes 1; single; 4–14 cm long. Rhachis fragile at the nodes; subterete; villous on surface. Rhachis internodes linear. Rhachis internode tip oblique; flat; with simple rim.

Spikelets in pairs. Fertile spikelets sessile; 1 in the cluster. Companion sterile spikelets pedicelled; 1 in the cluster. Pedicels linear; flattened; villous.

STERILE SPIKELETS Companion sterile spikelets well-developed; male; lanceolate; dorsally compressed; 4–7 mm long; shorter than fertile; deciduous with the fertile. Companion sterile spikelet glumes chartaceous; pubescent, or pilose, or villous; acuminate; muticous, or mucronate. Companion sterile spikelet lemmas 2; enclosed by glumes.

FERTILE SPIKELETS Spikelets comprising 1 basal sterile florets; 1 fertile florets; without rhachilla extension. Spikelets lanceolate; dorsally compressed; 5–9.5 mm long; falling entire; deciduous with accessory branch structures. Spikelet callus cuneate; 1–1.5 mm long; pubescent; base obtuse; attached obliquely.

GLUMES Glumes dissimilar; reaching apex of florets; firmer than fertile lemma. Lower glume ovate; 1 length of spikelet; chartaceous; with oil streaks; 2-keeled; 6–8 -veined. Lower glume surface villous. Lower glume margins ciliate. Lower glume apex entire, or lobed; 2 -fid; setaceously attenuate (up to 7mm). Upper glume lanceolate; 1-keeled; 3–5 -veined. Upper glume primary vein ciliate. Upper glume surface pubescent. Upper glume margins ciliate. Upper glume apex acute.

FLORETS Basal sterile florets barren; without significant palea. Lemma of lower sterile floret elliptic; hyaline; 2 -veined; ciliolate on margins. Fertile lemma oblong; hyaline; without keel; 3 -veined. Lemma margins ciliolate. Palea absent or minute.

DISTRIBUTION Africa: west tropical, west-central tropical, northeast tropical, east tropical, southern tropical, and south. Asia-temperate: Arabia. North America: Mexico. South America: northern South America, western South America, Brazil, and southern South America.

Nutritional aspects

A very early grass which provides some grazing at the end of the dry season (Dougal et al. 1958).

Nutritional tables
Tables of chemical composition and nutritional value 

Avg: average or predicted value; SD: standard deviation; Min: minimum value; Max: maximum value; Nb: number of values (samples) used

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This datasheet is pending revision and updating; its contents are currently derived from FAO's Animal Feed Resources Information System (1991-2002) and from Bo Göhl's Tropical Feeds (1976-1982).

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
Crude protein % DM 8.0 1
Crude fibre % DM 37.8 1
NDF % DM 72.8 *
ADF % DM 43.9 *
Lignin % DM 6.2 *
Ether extract % DM 1.9 1
Ash % DM 7.5 1
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 18.5 *
Ruminant nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb
OM digestibility, Ruminant % 59.2 *
Energy digestibility, ruminants % 56.6 *
DE ruminants MJ/kg DM 10.5 *
ME ruminants MJ/kg DM 8.4 *

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.


Dougall et al., 1958

Last updated on 24/10/2012 00:43:38

Datasheet citation 

DATASHEET UNDER CONSTRUCTION. DO NOT QUOTE. https://www.feedipedia.org/node/445 Last updated on July 21, 2010, 11:36

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