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a genus of perennial grasses of the family Gramineae. There is a long, spreading rootstock and procumbent and ascending aboveground shoots. The stems are leafy, and the inflorescence consists of three to eight digitately arranged spicate branchlets. The small spikelets bear one or two flowers and form two approximate rows on the branchlets.
There are about ten species, distributed in tropical, subtropical, and temperate zones. The USSR has one species, Bermuda grass (C. dactylon), which is native to tropical Africa. Bermuda grass is found in the southern part of the European USSR, the Caucasus, the southern part of Western Siberia, and Middle Asia. It grows on grassy slopes, in meadows, on river flood-plains, in wastelands, and along roads. It is a weed in fields and orchards. Bermuda grass is a valuable pasture plant. Readily eaten by agricultural animals, it grows rapidly after grazing and withstands trampling well. It is one of the best lawn plants and serves as good ground cover at airports and on athletics fields. The plant can be used to control soil erosion. In regions of irrigated agriculture, Bermuda grass is a pernicious weed. Control measures include plowing or raking up the rootstocks, after which the roots dry out and freeze. Also effective is the application of herbicides to the soil before plowing.
REFERENCESKott, S. A. Sornye rasteniia i bor’ba s nimi, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1961.
Beliuchenko, I. S. Zlakovye kormovye rasteniia tropicheskogo poiasa. Moscow, 1969.
T. V. EGOROVA