Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Paspalum, Dallis Grass
Paspalum dilatatum

Family: Poaceae (poh-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Paspalum (PASS-pal-lum) (Info)
Species: dilatatum (dil-uh-TAY-tum) (Info)

Ornamental Grasses and Bamboo

12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade

Pollen may cause allergic reaction

Bloom Color:
Pale Green

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
4.6 to 5.0 (highly acidic)
5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Click thumbnail
to view:

By kennedyh
Thumbnail #1 of Paspalum dilatatum by kennedyh

By htop
Thumbnail #2 of Paspalum dilatatum by htop

By htop
Thumbnail #3 of Paspalum dilatatum by htop

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Thumbnail #4 of Paspalum dilatatum by htop

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Thumbnail #5 of Paspalum dilatatum by nifty413


1 positive
1 neutral
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral frostweed On Dec 27, 2006, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Paspalum, Dallis Grass Paspalum dilatatum is naturalized in Texas and other States and is considered an invasive plant in Texas.

Positive aerikson On Jun 27, 2006, aerikson from Memphis, TN wrote:

Interesting background information. I have used dry amonium nitrate directly on the plant to kill it. This provides plenty of nutrition for surrounding plants to grow on when spreading back into dead dallis grass area.

Negative htop On Jul 19, 2005, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Dallis grass (dallisgrass, paspalum) is one of the earliest introduced pasture grasses. It is native to the humid subtropics of Argentina, southern Brazil and Uruguay; but, it is now widely distributed. A perennial cluster grass, it is grown as pasture grass (usually mixed with legumes) for grazing by usually cattle and horses in the southern United States. It is a fast growing perennial that grows on a wide variety of soils. Dallis grass does best on moist, alluvial, fertile clays and loamy bottom lands. Withstanding extreme drought due to its extensive root system, it requires adequate rainfall at some time of the year.

Its main attributes are that it is highly palatable (animals), had a high productivity rate and withstands heavy grazing and trampling along with its compatibility with white clover (another plant used in pastures for grazing). The area of adaptation is from New Jersey to Florida, and west to Texas. It is not harmed by light frosts and persists later in the fall and begins earlier in the spring than most warm season grasses. It is often seeded into rice fields in Texas and Louisiana. After being introduced, it now has naturalized in the USA and is primarily a weed of turfgrass and lawns, but occurs in pastures and along roadsides. Dallis grass is a major weed of wetland edges and wet native grasslands.

Dallis grass is leafy and tufted with clusters of stems arising from short, creeping rhizomes. It has a spreading open shape. The bright green leaves are folded in bud, then somwhat flat. When mature, they are about 1cm wide. The igsignicant clooms are pale yellow to pale green and appear on lonh spikes. Sticky disc-shaped seeds are produced on long seed heads which appear on the long stems. Seed is dispersed by sticking to machinery, vehicles, animals, clothing, and in water.

I consider it to be a weed in my lawn and flowerbeds. It is difficult to remove when it is growing amongst other desirable lawn grasses because it grows concentrically out from the center of the weed. You often temporarily have to damage the other grasses in order to remove the roots and rhizomes. Dallis tends to thrive in wet areas with lots of heat. An application of pre-emergence fertilizers in the late spring assists with preventing seed germination and growth.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

San Diego, California
Memphis, Tennessee
Caddo Mills, Texas
Garland, Texas
Mc Kinney, Texas
San Antonio, Texas

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