Scientific Name: Melinis minutiflora
Synonym: Melinis tenuinervis
Common Names: Molasses Grass, Molassesgrass, Brazilian Stink Grass, Efwatakala Grass
Growth Habit: Graminoid
Hawaii Native Status: Introduced. This naturalized forage plant is native to Africa.
Flower Color: Inconspicuous (orange)
Height: To 39 inches (1 m) tall
Description: The tiny flowers are in slender, dense, feathery, purplish to pink (when young), 8 inch (20 cm) long panicles. The leaf blades and sheaths are glandular hairy, sticky, and have a distinctive molasses-like odor. The leaf blades are linear and light green or tinged red. The stems are branching and ascending. The plants are spread by wind-blown seed and rooting runners and eventually form large, monotypic stands when established. This strong smelling plant repels both insects and ticks.
Here in Hawaii, this weedy, mat-forming, smothering grass is common in low and middle elevation, dry to mesic (moderately wet) disturbed areas.
Foul-smelling – Molasses Grass has a strong, nauseatingly sweet smell of molasses or maple-scented roach traps.
Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Liliopsida – Monocotyledons
Family: Poaceae – Grass family
Genus: Melinis P. Beauv. – stinkgrass
Species: Melinis minutiflora P. Beauv. – molassesgrass
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