NOTE: The information in this Agnote must be read in conjunction with Introduction to selecting and using pastures in NSW, which covers information on areas of adaptation, sources of variability, species mixtures, and important issues related to animal health and the conservation of native vegetation.
Pasture type and use Mainly mixed with ryegrass, clover pastures. Persists with kikuyu pastures. Adapted to the wetter areas, dairies etc. on the coastal and inland slopes and plains.
Area of adaptation Coastal and wetter areas of slopes and plains.
Min. average annual rainfall 750 mm adapted to summer-dominant rainfall areas.
  • Grows prolifically during summer (December to early March).
  • Can produce 80 kg DM/ha/day.
  • Has reasonable feed quality.
  • Requires heavy grazing pressure every 2–3 weeks during summer.
  • It is invaded by couch grass after 2 years.
  • Impossible to remove couch grass from paspalum.
  • Seeds prolifically from late January to April.
  • Regular slashing and mulching must be undertaken.
  • Under ideal management, has better feed quality than kikuyu.
Soil requirements Prefers heavy clays. Persists in areas of poorer drainage.
Varieties Common
Sowing rate 3–5 kg/ha
Sowing time Mid-October to March.
Companion species White clover / red clover.
Inoculation N/A
Major nutrient deficiencies Nitrogen
Main insect pests No significant problems.
Main diseases Ergot
Management It is accepted as a naturalised self-regenerating summer grass. It is rarely sown. Tends to invade ryegrass, clover pastures. It can also survive with kikuyu.

Maintain stocking pressure from December to March. It flowers from mid-January to March/April. Regular slashing or mulching is critical in maintaining feed quality.

Livestock disorders of particular note Nervous ergotism (‘staggers’).
Additional tips
  • Very difficult to establish from seed because of summer grasses weed competition.
  • Can be a major weed of turf.
  • Cannot be removed from kikuyu.
  • On heavy, fertile, coastal soils it will establish naturally.


Advice on livestock health disorders was provided by Dr Chris Bourke, Principal Research Scientist, NSW Agriculture, Orange. His contribution is gratefully acknowledged.