Plants annual. Culms 20-100 cm, decumbent, geniculate, branching and rooting at the lower nodes; nodes glabrous. Sheaths mostly
glabrous, except the margins ciliate, with papillose-based hairs; ligules 0.5-1.5 mm; blades 3-21 cm long, 6-20 mm wide, glabrous, bases subcordate
to cordate, clasping the stems, margins sometimes ciliate basally. Panicles 6-25 cm long, 2-7 cm wide, with 3-8 spikelike primary branches in 2 ranks; primary
branches 2-11 cm, axes 1-1.5 mm wide, flat, margins scabrous; secondary branches absent; pedicels shorter than the spikelets, glabrous or
scabrous. Spikelets (4)4.5-6 mm long, 1.9-2.2 mm wide, solitary, appressed to the branch axes, in 2 rows. Glumes separated by an internode of about
0.5 mm; lower glumes 1.5-2.5 mm, to 1/3 as long as the spikelets, broadly ovate, glabrous, 9-11-veined; upper glumes 3-4.2 mm, glabrous, 7(-9)-veined,
without evident cross venation; lower florets sterile; lower lemmas 3-4.2 mm, glabrous, 5-veined; lower paleas present; upper lemmas
2.7-3.6 mm long, 1.5-2 mm wide, apices rounded; anthers 0.7-1 mm. Caryopses 2-2.5 mm. 2n = 36, 72.
Urochloa plantaginea, native to western and central Africa, is found
from the southern United States to Argentina. It is now established in the southeastern
United States, growing in loose sand and loam soils. Although considered a weed
in the Flora area, Sendulsky (1978) stated that it provided good forage.
Hall (1978) reported Urochloa oligobrachiata (Pilg,)
Kartesz [= Brachiaria platytaenia
Stapf] in Florida. This report was based on one collection,
but the voucher specimen has not been verified. Urochloa oligobrachiata
is similar to U. plantaginea, but differs in having acute to acuminate
lower glumes and shortly awned upper lemmas. It is native to western Africa.