Family • Poaceae / Gramineae - Paspalum conjugatum P. J. Bergius - CARABAO GRASS - Liang er cao

Scientific names

Paspalum conjugatum P. J. Bergius
Paspalum africanum Poir.
Paspalum bicrurum Salz. ex Doll.
Paspalum ciliatum Lam.
Paspalum dolichopus Trin. ex Steud.
Paspalum longissimum Hochst. ex Steud.
Paspalum renggeri Steud.
Paspalum sieberianum Steud.
Paspalum tenue Gaertn.
Panicum conjugatum (P. J. Berg.) Roxb.
Digitaria conjugata (P. J. Berg.) Schult.
Liang er cao (Chin.)

Common names

Bantotan (Mbo.)
Kauad-kauaran (Tag.)
Kauat-kauat (Tag.)
Laua-laua (Tag.)
Sakate (Bis.)
Buffalo grass (Engl.)
Carabao grass (Engl.)
Hilograss (Engl.)
Sour grass (Engl.)
Sour paspalum (Engl.)
Cha zi cao (Chin.)

Other vernacular names

CHINESE: Shuang sui que bai.
DANISH: Hirse.
FRENCH: Herbe sure, Herbe créole.
GERMAN : Dallisgras.
ITALIAN : Paspalo dilatato.
JAPANESE: Shima suzume no hie.
SPANISH : Grama de agua, Hierba dallis, Grama de agua, Pasto dallis, Zacate dallis (Mexico).


Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Antivenomous Plants used in the Zairean Pharmacopoeia / African Study Monographs, 7:21-35, March 1987

(2) Fatty acid synthase inhibitors from plants: Isolation, structure elucidation, and SAR studies / Journal of natural products / 2002, vol. 65, no12, pp. 1909-1914

(3) Sorting Paspalum names / Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE

(4) Phytoextraction of Lead-Contaminated Soil Using Vetivergrass (Vetiveria zizanioides L.), Cogongrass (Imperata cylindrica L.) and Carabaograss (Paspalum conjugatum L.) / Annie Melinda Paz-Alberto, Gilbert C. Sigua, Bellrose G. Baui and Jacqueline A. Prudente / Env Sci Pollut Res 14 (7) 498 – 504 (2007)

Laua-laua is a gregarious stoloniferous grass. Stems are spreading and branching below withe the flowering branches 20 to 70 centimeters high. Leaves are narrow lanceolate, flat and thin, glabrous, 8 to 20 centimeters long, 5 to 15 millimeters wide. Spikes are two, terminal, slender and 6 to 12 centimeters long. The spikelets are imbricate, 1.2 to 1.4 millimeters long, pale-green, plano-convex, the empty glumes with long, soft, white marginal hairs.

– Grass is found in abundance in open waste places and settled areas, about towns, along trails, streams throughout the Philippines.
– Considered a weed but sometimes planted as a coarse ground cover grass.
– Native of tropical America.
– Now pantropic.

– Phytochemical study yielded glycosides, saponins and steroids.

Parts utilized
Fresh roots.


– Decoction of fresh roots are taken internally for diarrhea.
– In Africa, leaves used for fever, debility, stomach troubles and pulmonary afflictions; roots used for diarrhea and dysentery
– In Gabon, pounded with the leaf of Desmodium salicifolium and applied as compress for contusions, sprains and dislocations.
– In Congo, the leaves used with Macaranga sp and Renealmia sp. in a vapor bath for fever.
– In Cameroon, decoction of leaves, softened in hot ashes and ground in water, used for dysentery.
– In Trinidad, leaf infusions used for fever.
– In Malaysia, young leaves are pounded and applied as paste onto wounds and cuts.
– In Ecuadorian Amazon, infusion of the plant used for headaches. (The ethnobotanical efficacy may be due to an ergot-like fungus infestation.)
– In Zaire, as antivenom, decoction of whole plant is rubbed on the bite with the oil of Lebrunia bushaie.

– In Africa, grass provides good grazing for cattle and horses, taken before seed-set.
– Cats and dogs said to eat the leaf as purgative.

Study Findings
• Fatty Acid Synthetase Inhibitor / Antifungal: FAS has been identified as a potential antifungal target. In a study that included Paspalum conjugatum, FAS was prepared from thirteen compounds including three new natural products, representing five chemotypes: isoflavones,, flavones, biflavonoids, hydrolyzable tannin-related derivatives and triterpenoids. Although there were several antifungal components in the set, FAS inhibitory activity could not be correlated with antifungal activity.
• Phytoremediation: Study showed carabao grass as a potential phytoremediator, absorbing small amounts of Pb in soils. (In a comparative study, vetivergrass showed the most beneficial characteristics. Cogon grass showed to be more tolerant to Pb-contaminated soil compared to carabao grass.