Plants annual; tufted. Culms 10-65 cm, decumbent, rooting
or not at the lower nodes; nodes pubescent. Sheaths usually
puberulous, sometimes glabrous or sparsely pilose, margins ciliate; ligules 0.8-1.7
mm; blades 2-25 cm long, 4-14 mm wide, glabrous, margins scabrous. Panicles
3-13 cm, simple, with 3-15 spikelike primary branches; primary branches 1-8
cm, divergent, axils glabrous, axes 0.4-0.6 mm wide, triquetrous, glabrous,
scabrous, or pubescent, with or without some papillose-based hairs; secondary
branches, if present, confined to the lower branches; pedicels shorter
than the spikelets, scabrous or pubescent. Spikelets 2.5-3.4 mm
long, 1.3-2 mm wide, ellipsoid, apices broadly acute to acute, paired,
appressed to the branches.
Glumes scarcely separated, rachilla internode between the glumes
not pronounced; lower glumes 1-1.5 mm, 1/3-1/2 as long as the spikelets,
upper glumes 2.5-3.4 mm, usually puberulent, sometimes glabrous,
margins sometimes somewhat pubescent, 7-9-veined, without evident cross
florets sterile, lower lemmas 2.4-3.3 mm, usually puberulent
or occasionally glabrous, margins not ciliate, without cross venation,
5-veined; upper lemmas
2.3-3.3 mm, acute, mucronate; anthers 0.7-1.2 mm. Caryopses 1.2-2.3
mm; hila punctiform. 2n = 36 (usually); also 14, 28, 30,
32, 34, 42, 46, 72 [additions from Munshi et al. 1995].
A weedy species of tropical Africa and Asia, Urochloa ramosa has spread throughout the tropics and subtropics, including the southeastern United States.
It is considered a weed in the Flora area, but it is cultivated in India as a grain and forage crop; the grain is sometimes used for birdseed.