Botanical Name: Thysanolaena maxima/Thysanolaena latifolia
Species: T. latifolia
Common Names: Tiger grass, Nepalese broom grass, Broom grass, Broom stick, in Nepali Amliso and jharu in Assamese
Habitat : Tiger grass is native to China (Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Taiwan, Yunnan) Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, New Guinea, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam. It is also naturalized in Mauritius, Seychelles, Gambia, Tanzania, Hawaii, California, the West Indies and Brazil.
It is found growing along steep hills, sandy banks of rivers and damp steep banks along ravines. It is widely distributed throughout Nepal but only up to an altitude of 2000 metres. The grass can be grown on severely degraded and marginal lands. Broom grass tends to grow in tussocks, with 4-5 tussocks in a 100-metre radius and is harvested during the winter seasons between January and March.
Tiger grass is a tightly clumping perennial grass with long slender canes up to 10mm in diameter, which are topped with drooping, lance shaped green leaves. The foliage only grows out of the top of the canes therefore the plant develops an attractive mushroom like shape. It has pinky to purple flowers which look rather like corn tassels.
Looking very much like bamboo but without its invasive tendencies, Tiger Grass is a neat and tidy addition for sub tropical gardens and will withstand temperatures down to -2 degrees centigrade so will grow well throughout much of Australia – though growth will be restrained in cooler climates and some leaf drop may occur in winter.
It does however like regular access to moisture though so drought prone areas are not recommended.
It will make a good feature plant or at the back of deep borders and its dense and lush nature makes it ideal as a fast growing screen.
One of its best features is that it is not fussy whether it gets full sun or shade – though a bit of both is perfect.
Soil: Well drained but humus rich soils are ideal, though it will withstand many soil types as long as they are not waterlogged or too dry.
If the plant is to be kept in pots or large tubs, ensure they get enough water in hotter months.
Uses: Fresh flower (ca. 5 gm) made into paste with ‘Pachai’ (rice beer, ca. 10 ml), long pepper (Piper longum) seeds (ca. 2 gm), and
honey 10-20 drops. The paste so obtained is given to women at early morning in empty stomach for 3-successive days just after the
completion of one menstrual cycle as oral contraceptive by the Mundas. Root decoction with common salt is used as mouth freshener
and to cure mouth sores by the Lodhas. Twigs with 3-leaves are kept on the main entrance of the house by the Lepchas to keep the evil
spirits away from their houses. Freshly prepared aqueous decoction of the grains is used as a mouth wash to expel the tooth worms by
It is also usede as an ornamental plant for the house.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.