Sabi Grass

Urochloa mosambicensis

  • Grown for grazing
  • Grown for erosion control
  • Good seed producer with seed dormancy known to occur



    Sabi was introduced from Zimbabwe as Sabi grass. It is not to be confused with African Liverseed grass Urochloa panicoides which is an annual. Sabi is mainly grown for grazing and erosion control. It has a characteristic decumbent growth habit and is a good seed producer with seed dormancy known to occur.


    Species origin



    Plant Characteristics

    Growth habitvigorous growing perennial once established with broad and light greenish leaves; plants are low growing tufted and stoloniferous and produce “creeping” growth habits. It has a tendency to branch and form roots at lower nodes. Leaves are short and clustered at the nodes. It is persistent and spreads well after bush fires.

    Drought tolerance – fairly tolerant to dry season and spreads rapidly in response to wet weather.

    Uses – for grazing and erosion control; combines well with Stylosanthes (Seca, Verano, Amiga and Siran) and can withstand heavy grazing.

    Adaptation- prefers tropical conditions with rainfall 500mm – 1200mm. It has poor frost tolerance but readily recovers from frost damage. Sabi may be more suited to the tropics.


    Seed Characteristics

    Seeds are small and light – often may cause problem with harvesting and sowing. Therefore coated seeds facilitate seeding operations. Bare seeds average 600,000seed/kg.

    Seed dormancy often a problem but the plant shed seeds in abundance to produce a good seed bank.


    Seeding Rate

    Bare seeds at 1-4kg/ha
    Coated seeds at 2-8kg/ha

    Tropical Grasses

    Tropically adapted grasses come in a wide range of species adapted to varying conditions. Many summer crops grown today are annual tropical grasses. Perennial tropical grasses offer the same benefits in terms of growth response to moisture & temperature and dry matter production.