Billion-dollar Grass (Frumentacea) is generally described as
an annual graminoid.
not native to the U.S. (United States)
and has its most active growth period in the
The greatest bloom is usually observed in the
with fruit and seed production starting in the
summer and continuing until
not retained year to year.
Billion-dollar Grass (Frumentacea) has a
short life span relative to most other plant species and a
rapid growth rate.
At maturity, the typical
Billion-dollar Grass (Frumentacea) will reach up to
3.9 feet high, with a maximum height at 20 years of
Billion-dollar Grass (Frumentacea) is easily found in nurseries, garden stores and other plant dealers and distributors. It can be propagated by
It has a
rapid ability to spread through seed production and the seedlings have
Note that cold stratification is
not required for seed germination and the plant cannot survive exposure to temperatures below
low tolerance to drought and restricted water conditions.
Uses of : Landscaping, Medicinal, Culinary, etc.
Billion-dollar grass is an exceptional wildlife plant. It is a choice duck food and is eaten by 17 species of Northeastern waterfowl. This food is also used by five upland game birds and many non-game birds such as sparrows, finches, and cardinals. Leaves and seedheads are eaten by rabbits and muskrats. As an erosion control plant it is used as a quick growing companion crop with perennial grasses and legumes and is especially suited to wet sites.
Billion-dollar grass is an introduced annual. It has coarse leaves and varies from one to five feet in height depending on available moisture and fertility. The seed-head is a compact panicle-type infloresence four to eight inches long, purplish in color, with awnless seed. Conversely, wild barnyard grass has seed with conspicuous awns and a more open-branched panicle. Billion-dollar grass produces a much heavier seed yield than the wild species. There are approximately 155,000 seeds per pound.
Required Growing Conditions
This plant is widely adapted to the entire Northeast as it matures in 60-90 days. It grows well in wet soils but will also grow on well-drained upland soils. Billion-dollar grass is somewhat tolerant of low soil pH (4.5) and salinity of 2,000 parts per million.
Cultivation and Care
Seed may be drilled or broadcast and incorporated to a one inch depth on upland sites. In wetland areas, draw down water levels and broadcast seed on top of wet ground. Seeding rate for pure stands is 20 lbs./acre when drilled and 25-30 lbs./acre if broadcast. In a mixture reduce rate to 8-12 lbs./acre. Planting is recommended after the last killing frost in the spring. The seeding date may be timed to synchronize the maturity date of seed with the fall migration of specific migratory birds.
General Upkeep and Control
As an upland food source, plant in pure stands as a field crop. For waterfowl, wetland areas planted in the spring should not be reflooded until the plants are at least six inches tall. Flood to 12-18 inches during the migratory season. Replant annually.
Cultivars, Improved, and Selected Materials (and area of origin) ‘Chiwapa’ (India) is the only named variety, which was developed at the Coffeville, Mississippi Plant Materials Center and is appropriate only for the southeastern region of the country.
Source: USDA, NRCS, PLANTS Database, plants.usda.gov.
National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA