Hairy panic

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Panicum effusum

CATEGORY: C4 perennial


  • A tufted, warm season, generally short-lived, perennial to 0.5m high
  • Leaves, leaf sheaths and nodes are hairy
  • Leaves are dull green, with distinctive long glandular hairs along the leaf margins
  • Seedhead is an open panicle, with spikelets commonly paired
  • Germinates in spring and flowers in summer and autumn


  • Found at low to moderate abundance in native pastures, woodlands or disturbed areas (e.g. roadsides) in full sun
  • Most common on sandy or shallow, low fertility soils
  • Highly drought tolerant, but sensitive to frost


  • Moderate to high grazing value
  • Digestibility ranges from 53-71%
  • Crude protein 12.4-20%


  • Capable of quickly responding to small rainfall events, it is a low yielding grass that provides a palatable and high quality feed up until flowering; mature forage is of reasonable quality
  • Can cause photosensitisation (blistering of hairless or light-coloured areas) if eaten in large quantities or as a major proportion of the animals diet within 2-6 weeks after rain.
  • Seedheads are often windblown, piling up against fence-lines

Modified 11 April 2007Doesn’t respond to increased soil fertility and tends to be out competed when fertiliser is applied

  • Best suited to light grazing pressure
  • Not very tolerant of heavy grazing, but persists if rested during flowering as it seeds well and regenerates rapidly


  • There are a number of other Panicum species, especially in the west of the area, but none have long glandular hairs along the edges of their leaves
  • Native millet (Panicum decompositum) forms a large blue-green tussock and the leaves have a distinct whitish midvein.  It is an occasional species in open areas, usually on heavier soils

Seedheads blown into piles:K Hertel)