Guinea Grass

© Guinea Grass

Latin Name

Panicum maximum


Guinea Grass is probably the most valuable grazing grass in its area of distribution. It is particularly palatable, delivers a high leaf production and usually occurs in abundance in good veld. The spikelets are very popular amongst seed-eating birds.


Guinea grass is a tufted perennial with 30 mm leaf blades. The inflorescence is an open panicle. The grass Is highly palatable and favoured by all grazing herbivores. Spikelets are green to purple (purple particularly when the grass grows in direct sun). Guinea Grass remains green until late in winter. It originates in Africa, but today occurs in virtually all tropical parts of the world.


Guinea Grass is found in damp places with fertile soil, especially in the shade of trees along rivers. It also utilises a variety of other growing conditions.


September - March in South Africa

Field Notes

Guinea grass is known by a number of names across Africa including Tanganyika Grass and Buffalo Grass. It is a valuable fodder grass for livestock but believed to cause certain ailments in animals at certain climatic conditions.

Kruger National Park - South African Safari