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Amliso plant with flower
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Clade: Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Subfamily: Panicoideae
Tribe: Thysanolaeneae
Genus: Thysanolaena
T. latifolia
Binomial name
Thysanolaena latifolia
(Roxb. ex Hornem.) Honda
Synonyms [1] [2]
  • Thysano-laenaNees, alternate spelling
  • MyriachaetaMoritzi
  • ThysanochlaenaGand.
  • Thysanolaena acarifera(Trin.) Arn. & Nees
  • Thysanolaena agrostisNees
  • Thysanolaena assamensisGand.
  • Thysanolaena birmanicaGand.
  • Thysanolaena malaccensisGand.
  • Thysanolaena maxima(Roxb.) Kuntze
  • Thysanolaena sikkimensisGand.
  • Melica latifoliaRoxb. ex Hornem.
  • Panicum acariferumTrin.
  • Thysanolaena acariferaArn. & Nees
  • Neyraudia acarifera(Roxb. ex Hornem.) Conert
  • Agrostis maximaRoxb.
  • Arundo minutifloraBrongn.
  • Sporobolus scopariusJ.Presl
  • Vilfa scoparia(J.Presl) Steud.
  • Myriachaeta arundinaceaZoll. & Moritzi
  • Myriachaeta glaucaMoritzi ex Steud.
  • Vilfa gigasSteud.
  • Sporobolus gigas(Steud.) Miq.

Thysanolaena is a genus of plants in the grass family, the only genus in the tribe Thysanolaeneae. [3] [4] [5] [1] [6] Its only recognized species is Thysanolaena latifolia (formerly Thysanolaena maxima), native to China (Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Taiwan, Yunnan) Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, New Guinea, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam. It is also naturalized in Mauritius, Seychelles, Gambia, Tanzania, Hawaii, California, the West Indies and Brazil. [1] [2] [7] [8] Tiger grass, Nepalese Broom Grass, Broom Grass, Broom stick are common names for this plant, in Nepali amliso (Nepali : अम्लिसो) and jharu in Assamese . [9] [10] The flowers of this plant are used as cleaning tool or broom, which is known as कुच्चोkuchcho in Nepali, झाड़ू jhadu (phool jhadu) in Hindi.

A genus is a taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, as well as viruses, in biology. In the hierarchy of biological classification, genus comes above species and below family. In binomial nomenclature, the genus name forms the first part of the binomial species name for each species within the genus.

Poaceae family of plants

Poaceae or Gramineae is a large and nearly ubiquitous family of monocotyledonous flowering plants known as grasses, commonly referred to collectively as grass. Poaceae includes the cereal grasses, bamboos and the grasses of natural grassland and cultivated lawns and pasture. Grasses have stems that are hollow except at the nodes and narrow alternate leaves borne in two ranks. The lower part of each leaf encloses the stem, forming a leaf-sheath. With around 780 genera and around 12,000 species, Poaceae are the fifth-largest plant family, following the Asteraceae, Orchidaceae, Fabaceae and Rubiaceae.

China Country in East Asia

China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia and the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.404 billion. Covering approximately 9,600,000 square kilometers (3,700,000 sq mi), it is the third- or fourth-largest country by total area. Governed by the Communist Party of China, the state exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities, and the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau.



It is found growing along steep hills, sandy banks of rivers and damp steep banks along ravines. It is widely distributed throughout Nepal but only up to an altitude of 2000 metres. [10] The grass can be grown on severely degraded and marginal lands. [11] Broom grass tends to grow in tussocks, with 4-5 tussocks in a 100-metre radius and is harvested during the winter seasons between January and March. [10]

Horticultural use

Tiger Grass is another common name for this plant throughout the tropics where it is grown as an ornamental. It may be used to create the effect of bamboo, which it resembles, but to which it is not related.

Growing Techniques

In order to grow broom grass the slips in the planting site must be clear of weeds and debris. [10] Planting the broom grass slips in fertile soil ensures the best yield. [10] It is usually planted at the beginning of monsoon season during the months of May to June as the soil has the best moisture for plant genesis. [10] One month before planting pits of 30m cubed are dug up and left for weathering. [10] On hilly land the pits should be placed about 1.5 x 2m apart along the contour lines or trace bunds, while on fertile land the best spacing is 2.5m x 2.5m. [10] Farm yard manure and 10% BHC fertilizer at 10 grams per pit are mixed into the pits before planting the seeds. [10] The plant becomes rather low maintenance after planting. [10] The plant requires to be weeded 3-4 times in the first year and annually in the following years. [11] Manure can be applied to the soil during the second weeding to provide the best yields in the first year. [11] The pits need to be fenced off to protect the plants from grazing. [11]


A Shan lady in Thoet Thai, northern Thailand, prepares the dried flowers of the broom grass for making brooms 2019 01 Making brooms Thoet Thai 01.jpg
A Shan lady in Thoet Thai, northern Thailand, prepares the dried flowers of the broom grass for making brooms

The mature panicles which turn light green or red are harvested in the winter season from January to March. [11] The timing of the harvest is essential as if the plant is harvested prematurely (5–7 days) their production declines, while if it harvested late it will begin to wilt. [11] The panicles are either harvested by cutting above the soil separating the panicle for stem or pulling the panicles out by hand. [10] It is important to make sure the young sprouts are not damaged or the plants uprooted during harvest. [11] The yield will be the lowest in the first and fifth year with the highest in the third. [11]

Benefits for Nepal

Broom grass is a significant source of income for subsistence communities, primarily for the women who collect it to manufacture and sell them as brooms across Nepal. [12] In addition to providing cash income when sold as brooms the plant provides a variety of uses to the farmers such as, the leaves provide green forage for livestock, the roots promote soil conservation, and the dried up stems can be used as stakes to support growing vegetables. [12] Broom grass has had a direct impact in preventing frequent landslides, helping retain ground moisture and fertility, and improving soil quality by reducing soil erosion. [12] Broom grass has the ability to crowd out invasive species when intercropped and is beneficial in retaining soil nutrients to regrow vegetation. [12] The grass also possesses numerous medicinal properties that are essential in subsistence communities. [11]

Environmental Sustainability

The planting of Nepalese broom grass has a direct impact on preventing surface soil erosion on steep hillsides. [13] Broom grass grows in clumps and has many tangled up roots that grow to about one metre below the ground. [13] This makes it highly effective in preventing soil erosion on hillsides as the grass is less likely to fall compared to other plants and trees that would have been planted there. [13] The roots and leaves of the plant slow down water drops and the flow of water after heavy rain by absorbing the water in the soil. [13] Growing broom grass on degraded land has been proven to help rehabilitate it as it helps retain ground moisture and promote fertility. [11] There is no irrigation required to grow the grass and it does not produce any wastewater. [11] No external inputs or energy is needed to grow the plant as it only requires human labour, which can be extensive in the first year of growing. [11] Broom grass farming is highly recommended in new shifting cultivation systems on marginal lands to repair the damage from previous slash and burn methods. [11]

Impact on Promoting Local Biodiversity

The start of Nepalese farmers growing broom grass has increased the local biodiversity in the communities. Now that the farmers have to tie up their livestock since they feed on the broom grass, other plant species in the area can successfully regrow and multiply. [13] Broom grass that have been planted in areas where slash and burn cultivation took place has caused tree stumps to grow branches and other vegetation to grow back. [13] Endangered animals such as the Barking Deer and Monkey are now reappearing in the infertile slash and burn areas where they once lived, as the broom grass used to rehabilitate the soil helps promote the growth of other vegetation the animals use for food. [13] Broom grass does not compete for land with cereal crops so they can be grown simultaneously. [11]

Gender Impacts

The farming of broom grass has had a sincere impact on the women in the communities. It has helped women become more empowered by raising their financial status and lessening the burden of other tasks. [13] Females in the communities perform 70 percent of the labour required for the cultivation and manufacturing of the brooms. [11] Women’s efforts to promote broom grass farming has been very important as they have started pressuring males of the family to grow the plant after seeing the income potential it has. [13] Women carry the responsibility of the tedious tasks of collecting firewood for cooking and fodder for animals, which can be eliminated with broom grass as the plants stocks provide firewood and the leaves provide fodder. [13] Even though women have the added task of harvesting broom grass, it is much preferred over searching for firewood and fodder. [13]

See also

Related Research Articles

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Proso millet species of plant

Panicum miliaceum is a grain crop with many common names including proso millet, broomcorn millet, common millet,, hog millet, Kashfi milletred millet, and white millet. Archeological evidence suggests that the crop was first domesticated before 10,000 BCE in Northern China. The crop is extensively cultivated in China, India, Nepal, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, the Middle East, Turkey, Romania, and the United States, where approximately half a million acres are grown each year. The crop is notable both for its extremely short lifespan, with some varieties producing grain only 60 days after planting, and its low water requirements, producing grain more efficiently per unit of moisture than any other grain species tested. The name "proso millet" comes from the pan-Slavic general and generic name for millet. Proso millet is a relative of foxtail millet, pearl millet, maize, and sorghum within the grass sub-family Panicoideae. While all of these crops utilize C4 photosynthesis, the others all employ the NADP-ME as their primary carbon shuttle pathway while the primary C4 carbon shuttle in proso millet is the NAD-ME pathway.

Tillage preparation of soil by mechanical agitation

Tillage is the agricultural preparation of soil by mechanical agitation of various types, such as digging, stirring, and overturning. Examples of human-powered tilling methods using hand tools include shovelling, picking, mattock work, hoeing, and raking. Examples of draft-animal-powered or mechanized work include ploughing, rototilling, rolling with cultipackers or other rollers, harrowing, and cultivating with cultivator shanks (teeth). Small-scale gardening and farming, for household food production or small business production, tends to use the smaller-scale methods, whereas medium- to large-scale farming tends to use the larger-scale methods.

Slash-and-burn A farming method

Slash-and-burn agriculture, also called fire-fallow cultivation, is a farming method that involves the cutting and burning of plants in a forest or woodland to create a field called a swidden. The method begins by cutting down the trees and woody plants in an area. The downed vegetation, or "slash", is then left to dry, usually right before the rainiest part of the year. Then, the biomass is burned, resulting in a nutrient-rich layer of ash which makes the soil fertile, as well as temporarily eliminating weed and pest species. After about three to five years, the plot's productivity decreases due to depletion of nutrients along with weed and pest invasion, causing the farmers to abandon the field and move over to a new area. The time it takes for a swidden to recover depends on the location and can be as little as five years to more than twenty years, after which the plot can be slashed and burned again, repeating the cycle. In India, the practice is known as jhum or jhoom.

Timothy-grass species of plant

Timothy-grass is an abundant perennial grass native to most of Europe except for the Mediterranean region. It is also known simply as timothy, meadow cat's-tail or common cat's tail. It is a member of the genus Phleum, consisting of about 15 species of annual and perennial grasses.

Subsistence agriculture farming which meets the basic needs of the farmer and family

Subsistence agriculture occurs when farmers grow food crops to feed themselves and their families. In subsistence agriculture, farm output is targeted to survival and is mostly for local requirements with little or no surplus trade. The typical subsistence farm has a range of crops and animals needed by the family to feed and clothe themselves during the year. Planting decisions are made principally with an eye toward what the family will need during the coming year, and secondarily toward market prices. Tony Waters writes: "Subsistence peasants are people who grow what they eat, build their own houses, and live without regularly making purchases in the marketplace."

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<i>Panicum virgatum</i> species of plant

Panicum virgatum, commonly known as switchgrass, is a perennial warm season bunchgrass native to North America, where it occurs naturally from 55°N latitude in Canada southwards into the United States and Mexico. Switchgrass is one of the dominant species of the central North American tallgrass prairie and can be found in remnant prairies, in native grass pastures, and naturalized along roadsides. It is used primarily for soil conservation, forage production, game cover, as an ornamental grass, in phytoremediation projects, fiber, electricity, heat production, for biosequestration of atmospheric carbon dioxide, and more recently as a biomass crop for ethanol and butanol.

Agroforestry land use management system in which trees or shrubs are grown around or among crops or pastureland

Agroforestry is a land use management system in which trees or shrubs are grown around or among crops or pastureland. This intentional combination of agriculture and forestry has varied benefits, including increased biodiversity and reduced erosion. Agroforestry practices have been successful in sub-Saharan Africa and in parts of the United States.

<i>Alnus nepalensis</i> species of plant

Alnus nepalensis is a large alder tree found in the subtropical highlands of the Himalayas. The tree is called Utis in Nepali and Nepalese alder in English. It is used in land reclamation, as firewood and for making charcoal. It is the state tree of the Indian state of Nagaland.

<i>Prosopis pallida</i> species of plant

Prosopis pallida is a species of mesquite tree. It has the common names kiawe, huarango and American carob, as well as "bayahonda", "algarrobo pálido", and "algarrobo blanco". It is a thorny legume, native to Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, particularly drier areas near the coast. While threatened in its native habitat, it is considered an invasive species in many other places.

<i>Cytisus proliferus</i> species of plant

Cytisus proliferus, tagasaste or tree lucerne, is a small spreading evergreen tree that grows 3-4m high. It is a well known fertilizer tree. It is a member of the Fabaceae (pea) family and is indigenous to the dry volcanic slopes of the Canary Islands, but it is now grown in Australia, New Zealand and many other parts of the world as a fodder crop.

<i>Gliricidia sepium</i> species of plant

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<i>Rubus nepalensis</i> species of plant

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<i>Bothriochloa pertusa</i> species of plant

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<i>Urochloa brizantha</i> species of plant

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<i>Eragrostis pilosa</i> species of plant

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<i>Hyparrhenia rufa</i> species of plant

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<i>Brachiaria mutica</i> species of plant

Brachiaria mutica is a species of grass known by the common names para grass, buffalo grass, Mauritius signal grass, pasto pare, malojilla, gramalote, parana, Carib grass, and Scotch grass. Despite its common name California grass, it does not occur in California; it is native to northern and central Africa and parts of the Middle East, where it is cultivated for fodder. It was introduced elsewhere and it is now cultivated throughout tropical regions of the world for this purpose.


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