Elephant Grass has a more commonly known name which is ‘Napier grass, and ‘Uganda grass’. The genus type is called Pennistum. It is under the purpureum species. It is the leaves used for animal fodder. This grass originates from Africa way back in 1913. It is a tall grass. It can grow up to as much as 10 feet in dense clumps. In Africa, it is mostly found in savannas. It grows along the rivers and lake beds where the soil is rich. In this country, the farmers cut this grass to give their animals. They bring it home putting in big piles on carts or simply carry it in their backs.
The color of the stem is purple or yellowish. It is hairy and coarse. It measures about an inch thick near its base. Its leaf is about two to three feet long. It has pointed edges at around an inch wide. The leaf edge is as sharp as a razor. Hence, it is good to be careful in picking and handling it. This is one reason why the elephantgrass is quite impenetrable. There also many species of birds that made home in the strands of the grass.
The seed heads of the elephant grass is dense and measures at around 9 inches tufted plumes. Usually it is colored purple or tawny. It reproduces sexually yet the seeds are small and it does not sprout properly. Mainly, the reproduction of the grass is by way of the root like stems from the underground called rhizomes. It produces the roots from below and also sends the shoots up to the surface.
In Florida, the elephant grass is quite invasive. This is why, it has a tendency to clog the natural waterways which required periodical clearing. It was introduced in this state as a scavenge crop. The grass can live well on a tropical weather. It is killed quickly by a light frost. If the soil does not freeze, the parts in the underground can stay alive. The grass is known as napier grass in this state. The Pennisetum has over 100 species. There are some that are cultured for grain. More information can be found at http://plants.ifas.ufl.edu/node/320
Aside from Africa where the grass originates and in Florida where it can also be seen, the elephant grass is also common in India. It is specifically seen in Assam Wildlife Sanctuaries and Parks. One park where it can be located is at Kaziranga National Park. This park is in the center of Assam. It covers an area of around 430 sq kms. It is consisting of craggy reeds and dense forest. It has spike of cylindrical flower at the top of the stem and also has a couple of long bristles. Because the grass grows long, it is a good ground for the country’s one horned Rhinoceros. It is internationally called Great Indian One Horned Rhinoceros. It is the park’s main attraction for tourists. Aside from such, there are also other great attractions that can be found such as elephants, buffaloes, fishing eagle and a lot more.