Tropical Forages

Urochloa subquadripara

Scientific name
Urochloa subquadripara (Trin.) R.D. Webster

Basionym: Panicum subquadriparum Trin.; Brachiaria subquadripara (Trin.) Hitchc.; Brachiaria miliiformis (C. Presl) Chase; Panicum miliiformis J. Presl


Family: Poaceae (alt. Gramineae) subfamily: Panicoideae tribe: Paniceae subtribe: Melinidinae.

Morphological description

Stoloniferous, mat-forming annual or short-lived perennial. Culms slender, straggling, rooting at lower nodes, 20–60 cm tall, nodes pubescent.  Leaf sheaths loose, glabrous or with tubercle-based hairs or ciliate margins; leaf blades lanceolate or linear-lanceolate, 4–15 (–20) × 0.4–1 cm, glabrous or pubescent, base subrounded, margins thicker and scabrous, apex acute or acuminateInflorescence axis 3–10 cm; racemes 3–6, 2–4 (–6) cm, divergent to reflexed; rachis flat, 0.7–1 mm wide, narrowly winged, nearly glabrous; spikelets single, in 2 rows; pedicels glabrous.  Spikelets elliptic to narowly obovate, (3–) 3.5–4 mm, glabrous, acute; lower glume broadly ovate, ⅓–½ spikelet length, 5–7-veined; upper glume separated from lower glume by a short internode, 5–7-veined; upper lemma finely rugose, apex subacute.

Similar species

U. subquadripara (Trin.) R.D. Webster: spikelets 3.2–4.3mm long; second lemma 2.6–2.8 mm long.

U. distachya (L.) T.Q. Nguyen: spikelets 2.4–3.0 mm long; second lemma 1.9–2.3 mm long. 

Based on Veldkamp (1996).

U. subquadripara (Trin.) R.D. Webster:  spikelets well-separated, 3–4 mm long; palea well-developed; lower glume ⅓–½ spikelet length.

U. piligera (F. Muell. ex Benth.) R.D. Webster (glabrous form): spikelets close-packed, 4–5 mm long; palea not significant; lower glume about ½ spikelet length.

Based on:

Common names

Asia: 四生臂形草 si sheng bi xing cao (China); niku-kibi (Japan)

English: Cori grass, armgrass millet, green summer grass, tropical signal grass

Pacific: thobuti (Fiji); mauspentotmafu (Rotuma); mohuku'apopoa (Tonga)

Other: nofh-lov-si (unknown)



Asia: Cambodia, China (Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hunan, Jiangxi, Yunnan), India (Assam, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal), Indonesia, Japan (Ryukyu Islands), Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam

Australasia/Papuasia:  Australia (New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, Northern Territory), Papua New Guinea


Northern America: Mexico, USA (s.e.)


Permanent pasture.


Ground cover, mainly in coconut plantations.

Soil requirements

Grows well on sandy soils of medium to high fertility.  In Australia, U. subquadripara is commonly found in well-structured, well-drained, red rainforest soils.


High-rainfall (>1,750 mm/yr) recommended; particularly suited to monsoon environments.  Well adapted to flooding conditions.  Considered to be only moderately drought tolerant.


Warm season grass.


Good tolerance of shade.

Reproductive development

No information available.


Considered to withstand heavy grazing once well established.


No information available.


Guidelines for establishment and management of sown forages.


Easily established from stolon cuttings buried 10–15 cm deep; minimum 1 plant/m².


Considered to respond well to complete fertilizer mixtures and particularly to N.

Compatibility (with other species)

Once established, Cori grass competes well with weeds.

Companion species

Grasses: not normally sown with other grasses.

Legumes: Arachis pintoi, Centrosema molleGrona heterophylla, Neustanthus phaseoloides.

Pests and diseases

No information available.

Ability to spread

Spreads by stolons.

Weed potential

Low because of insignificant seed production.

Feeding value
Nutritive value

6.25‒12.5% CP in 4‒8 wk-old regrowth.


Highly palatable.


No information available.

Production potential
Dry matter

Annual DM yields of 4‒17 t/ha have been reported, depending on N fertilization. Because of competition for nutrients and water, excessive grass productivity is considered detrimental for coconut production.

Animal production

At stocking rates of 1.5‒2.0 steers/ha up to 400 kg animal LWG/ha can be expected without affecting coconut yields.


2n = 54 and 72.

Seed production

Reported to be very low.

Herbicide effects

Cori grass can be controlled with Diuron, Trifluralin and imazapyr.

  • Low to moderate productivity.
  • Low seed production.
Selected references

Reynolds, S.G. (1995) Pasture-Cattle-Coconut Systems. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Bangkok, Thailand.

Schultze-Kraft, R. (1992) Brachiaria subquadripara (Trin.) Hitchc. In: Mannetje, L.’t and Jones, R.M. (eds) Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 4. Forages. Pudoc Scientific Publishers, Wageningen, the Netherlands. p. 67–68.

Skerman, P.J. and Riveros, F. (1990) Tropical grasses. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Rome, Italy. p. 260‒262.

Stanley, T.D. and Ross, E.M. (1989) Flora of South-eastern Queensland. Volume III. Queensland Department of Primary Industries, Brisbane.  p. 218

Veldkamp, J.F. (1996) Brachiaria, Urochloa (Gramineae-Paniceae) in Malesia. Blumea 41:413–437.


None released.

In the combined germplasm collections of CIAT, ILRI and the Australian Pastures Genebank, the species seems to be represented by only three accessions.

Promising accessions
CIAT 16740 Promising in simple nursery evaluation in Colombia.