Cynodon dactylon (Bengali Durba ghas)

Botanical Name: : Cynodon dactylon
FamilyPoaceae
Genus: Cynodon
Species: C. dactylon
Kingdom: Planta
Order: Poales

Common Names  Dorva  grass, Dhoob, Bermuda grass, Dubo, Dog’s tooth grass, Bahama grass, Devil’s grass, Couch grass, Indian doab, Arugampul, Grama, and Scutch grass.

Other Names: In Hindi it is known as dhub, doob, or harialil; other common names include durba (Bengali), garikoihallu (Kanarese), durva (Marathi), durva or haritali (Sanskrit), arugampullu (Tamil), garikagoddi (Telugu) and dhubkhabbal (Punjabi) (Sastry and Kavathekar, 1990). Although a problem for farmers.

Habitat : Cynodon dactylon  is  native to Bermuda, it is an abundant invasive species there. It is presumed to have arrived in North America from Bermuda, resulting in its common name.

Description:
Cynodon dactylon Pers. (Poaceae), a hardy perennial grass, is one of the most commonly occurring weeds in India.The blades are a grey-green colour and are short, usually 2–15 cm (0.79–5.91 in) long with rough edges.  The erect stems can grow 1–30 cm (0.39–11.81 in) tall. The stems are slightly flattened, often tinged purple in colour….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

The seed heads are produced in a cluster of two to six spikes together at the top of the stem, each spike 2–5 cm (0.79–1.97 in) long.

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It has a deep root system; in drought situations with penetrable soil, the root system can grow to over 2 metres (6.6 ft) deep, though most of the root mass is less than 60 centimetres (24 in) under the surface. The grass creeps along the ground and roots wherever a node touches the ground, forming a dense mat. C. dactylon reproduces through seeds, runners, and rhizomes. Growth begins at temperatures above 15 °C (59 °F) with optimum growth between 24 and 37 °C (75 and 99 °F); in winter, the grass becomes dormant and turns brown. Growth is promoted by full sun and retarded by full shade, e.g., close to tree trunks.

Varieties:
*Tifgreen (Most drought resistant)
*Tifway
*LaPaloma
*Riviera
*SR9554
*Laprima
*Veracruz
*Wrangler
*Yukon

Cultivation:
Cynodon dactylon is widely cultivated in warm climates all over the world between about 30° S and 30° N latitude, and that get between 625 and 1,750 mm (24.6 and 68.9 in) of rainfall a year (or less, if irrigation is available). It is also found in the U.S., mostly in the southern half of the country and in warm climates.

It is fast-growing and tough, making it popular and useful for sports fields, as when damaged it will recover quickly. It is a highly desirable turf grass in warm temperate climates, particularly for those regions where its heat and drought tolerance enable it to survive where few other grasses do. This combination makes it a frequent choice for golf courses in the southern and southeastern U.S. It has a relatively coarse-bladed form with numerous cultivars selected for different turf requirements. It is also highly aggressive, crowding out most other grasses and invading other habitats, and has become a hard-to-eradicate weed in some areas (it can be controlled somewhat with Triclopyr, Mesotrione, Fluazifop-p-butyl, and Glyphosate).  This weedy nature leads some gardeners to give it the name of “devil grass”.

Medicinal Uses:
Cynodon dactylon  or durba ghas is a valuable herbal medicinal and used as first aid for minor injuries. Farmers traditionally apply crushed leaves to minor wounds as a styptik to stop bleeding similar to Tridax procumbens, Achyranthes aspera, and Blumea iacera, Oudhia, and Pal, 2000). Cynodon has a renown position in Indian systems of medicine and many parts of the plants are assumed to have medicinal properties. A traditional use of Cynodon is for eye disorders and weak vision; the afflicted are advised to walk bare foot on dew drops spread over Cynodon plant each morning. According to Ayurveda, India’s traditional pharmacopoeia, Cynodon plant is pungent, bitter, fragrant, heating, appetizer, vulnerary, anthelmintic, antipyretic, alexiteric. It destroys foulness of breath, useful in leucoderma, bronchitis, piles, asthma, tumors, and enlargement of the spleen. According to Unani system of medicine, Cynodon plant is bitter, sharp hot taste, good odor, laxative, brain and heart tonic, aphrodisiac, alexipharmic, emetic, emmenagogue, expectorant, carminative and useful against grippe in children, and for pains, inflammations, and toothache. Virus-affected discolored leaves of Cynodon are used for the treatment of liver complaints.. In Homoeopathic systems of medicine, it is used to treat all types of bleeding and skin troubles.

Other Uses:
Cynodon dactylon  is sometimes grown as a cover for warm sunny banks and are sometimes used for lawns. They stay green even in hot and dry weather. It give complete ground cover in 4-8 weeks when planted 30-45 cm apart. They succeed on most soil types and requires very little mowing on poor soils. Valuable for soil conservation due to its long runners that root at the nodes. Grasses  are used to produce biomass. Annual productivity ranges from 4 to 52 tonnes per hectare.

This grass is used  by Hindus in their puzas, marages and several other social celebrations.
Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cynodon_dactylon
http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/CropFactSheets/doob.html
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/g/grasse34.html

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