Narrow Leaf (Axonopus Affinis)
A native of the tropical, Southern States of U.S.A. and the West Indies, this grass is now naturalized in sub tropical to temperate regions of South America and similar climatic zones in Malaysia, Japan, the Pacific Islands and Australia.
The grass, which is a prostrate, summer-growing perennial spreading by both stolons and rhizomes, became widespread on the coast, especially on low fertility soils where it invaded paspalum pastures and reduced their carrying capacity. Seed was harvested and sold under the erroneous name of Paspalum compressum, or Durrington grass.
Narrow leaf carpet grass is best adapted to humid, sub-tropical conditions with an annual rainfall of 35-60 inches (890 – 1,525 mm). It prefers sandy but moist soils of low fertility, but will invade both hilly and flat land of higher fertility. It is less palatable and of lower nutritive value than paspalum, and these characteristics together with a profuse seeding ability helps it to invade paspalum. More recently it has been shown that narrow leaf carpet grass in low carrying pasture can be displaced by paspalum and kikuyu grass by the application of nitrogen fertilizers. Because of its prostrate growth and adaptability to close defoliation it has achieved some popularity as a lawn grass and in soil stabilisation in humid sub-tropical regions.