Tropic Lalo Paspalum
Paspalum hieronymii

Summary


Common Name

Tropic Lalo paspalum is the common name (USDA Program Aid).

Scientific Name

The scientific name is Paspalum hieronymii Hack (USDA Program Aid).

Cultivar

'Tropic Lalo' is the only reported cultivar.

Seed Description

No information is available in this database on this topic.

Seedling Description

No information is available in this database on this topic.

Mature Plant Description

Tropic Lalo is a low-growing, rapidly spreading, stoloniferous grass that usually attains a height of about 12 inches (30 cm) but may reach a height of 24 inches (60 cm) under moist, fertile conditions. The leaves are linear, approximately 3 to 9 inches (8-23 cm) long and 1/2 inch (12.7 mm) wide. Coarse hairs about 1/16 to 1/8 inch (1.6 to 3 mm) long cover the leaves and stems. The flowering stems are semi-erect and 12 to 24 inches (30-60 cm) high, depending upon soil fertility (USDA Program Aid).

Temperature

No information is available in this database on this topic.

Origin and Geographic Distribution

No information is available in this database about the origin of Tropic Lalo. Areas of adaptation include Guam, Puerto Rico, the Hawaiian Islands below and elevation of 3,000 feet and the subtropical part of southern Florida. Itsadaptation to the continental United States is not well known, but it may be adapted to other coastal areas in the South and Southwest (USDA Program Aid).

Ecology

No information is available in this database on this topic.

Water

Tropic Lalo is well adapted to subtropical areas that have an annual rainfall of 40 to 100 inches (approximately 1000-2500 mm). If irrigated, it will grow well in drier areas. It does not tolerate long, dry periods. It is quite resistant to water erosion. It is somewhat tolerant of low-lying soils that tend to stay wet but not waterlogged. Newly established plants are susceptible to drought (USDA Program Aid).

Nutrients

It is somewhat tolerant of infertile soils. It responds to fertilizer nitrogen at rates of up to 200 lb/ac/year (224 kg/ha/yr). Once established fertilizer applications may not be necessary. In orchards, the fertilizer used by trees should provide sufficient nutrients (USDA Program Aid).

Soil pH

Tropic Lalo tolerates pH conditions from 4.5 to 7.5 (USDA Program Aid).

Soil Type

Tropic Lalo is adapted to a wide range of soil textures from coarse to fine (USDA Program Aid).

Shade Tolerance

It tolerates 50-60% shade. Under shaded conditions, growth is slower and a less dense mat forms (USDA Program Aid).

Salinity Tolerance

No information is available in this database on this topic.

Herbicide Sensitivity

No information is available in this database on this topic.

Life Cycle

No information is available in this database on this topic.

Seeding Rate

Seed production is sparse; about 1-2% of viable seed are produced. Tropic Lalo is established from sprigs (USDA Program Aid).

Seeding Depth

Not applicable.

Seeding Method

Not applicable.

Seeding Dates

Not applicable.

Inoculation

Not applicable.

Seed Cost

No seed available.

Seed Availability

Not available.

Days to Flowering

No information is available in this database on this topic.

Days to Maturity

No information is available in this database on this topic.

Seed Production

Tropic Lalo is propagated vegetatively. A small nursery for planting larger areas can easily be established from a few vegetative sprigs or stolons.

Seed Storage

Not applicable.

Growth Habit

Tropic Lalo is a low growing, rapidly spreading, stoloniferous grass. It requires only infrequent mowing and has such dense growth that it crowds out weeds. When mowed weekly or biweekly, it becomes matlike and makes a coarse but acceptable turf for lawns or pathways (USDA Program Aid).

Maximum Height

Tropic Lalo usually attains a height of about 12 inches (30 cm) but may reach 24 inches (60 cm) under moist, fertile conditions (USDA Program Aid).

Root System

No information is available in this database on this topic.

Establishment

Tropic Lalo is established from sprigs (stem cuttings) planted on grids that range from 12 by 12 inches up to 36 by 36 inches. Sprigs may be broadcast and lightly covered with a disk or planted in furrows that are 1 to 3 or more feet apart. The minimum planting rate should be no less than 40 bushels of sprigs or stolons per acre. Higher rates may be required in closer spacings.

In plantings of 12 by 12 inches, complete cover may be achieved in six weeks. The areas to be planted must be moist and irrigated, as the sprigs and newly established plants are susceptible to drought.

Seedbed preparation may be minimal, using herbicides or disking, or both to control weeds. However, a well-prepared seedbed is preferred. Frequent mowing may control weeds (USDA Program Aid).

Maintenance

Tropic Lalo responds to fertilizer nitrogen at rates of up to 200 lb/ac/year (224 kg/ha/hr). Once established fertilizer applications may not be necessary. In orchards, the fertilizer used by trees should provide sufficient nutrients (USDA Program Aid).

Mowing

Tropic Lalo needs infrequent mowing unless a closely cut turf is required, such as for a lawn or for macadamia nut orchards. Mowing may be necessary 6 to 30 times a year, depending upon use and location. The cutting height may be less than 1 inch (2.5 cm), as recovery is good (USDA Program Aid).

Incorporation

Not applicable. Not generally used as a green manure.

Harvesting

No information is available in this database on this topic.

Equipment

No information is available in this database on this topic.

Uses

Mixtures

Tropic Lalo may be grown in association with and obtain its nitrogen from legumes such as white clover (Trifolium repens), big trefoil (Lotus pedunculatus), or the Desmodiums (Desmodium spp.).

Biomass

No information is available in this database on this topic.

N Contribution

No information is available in this database on this topic.

Non-N Nutrient Contribution

No information is available in this database on this topic.

Effects on Water

No information is available in this database on this topic.

Effects on Soil

Tropic Lalo will trap large amounts of sediment if grown in waterways (USDA Program Aid).

Effects on Livestock

No information is available in this database on this topic.

Pest Effects, Insects

Tropic Lalo can be damaged by the grass webworm Terpetogramma licarsisalis (Walker). (USDA Program Aid).

Pest Effects, Nematodes

No information is available in this database on this topic.

Pest Effects, Diseases

No reports have been made of significant damage cause by plant pathogens in Hawaii (USDA Program Aid).

Pest Effects, Weeds

No information is available in this database on this topic.

Pest Effects, Vertebrates

No information is available in this database on this topic.


Uses in the Pacific Region

No information is available in this database on this topic.

Uses in Hawai`i

The Hawai`i Natural Resources Conservation Service Technical Guide, Section IV, Code 340 Cover and Green Manure Crop includes Tropic Lalo paspalum. Their specification describes Tropic Lalo as follows:

Several farmers in Kona (Hawai`i Island) report being very satisfied with Tropic Lalo in coffee plantations with the only negative being the fact that it must be sprigged to be established.


References

1986. 'Tropic Lalo' paspalum. Program Aid - United States Department of Agriculture. pp. 6.

 Evans, Dale O., Joy, Robert J., & Chia, C.L., 1988. Cover Crops for Orchards in Hawaii. Hawaii Institute of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii, United Stated. 16 pp.

Joy, Robert J., Rotar, Peter P. September 1999. 'Tropic Lalo' Paspalum for Soil Erosion Control, TM-10. College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, USA. 2 pp.

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Hawai`i Field Office Technical Guide, Section IV, Code 340 "Cover and Green Manure Crop" May 1992. Pacific Islands Area Field Office Technical Guide (eFOTG) - East Area

Information last updated on 9/23/02.

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These webpages were originally generated under a grant program from Western SARE entitled "Covering New Ground: Tropical Cover Crops for Improving Soil Quality" EW98-012 (1998-2002).