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Andropogon (Andropogon fastigiatus)


Click on the "Nutritional aspects" tab for recommendations for ruminants, pigs, poultry, rabbits, horses, fish and crustaceans
Common names 

Yayalèn [Malinké], Fougoulou, Tièlbi [Poular], Yobanyi [Soussou] (Carrière, 2000)


Diectomis fastigiata (Sw.) P. Beauv.,  Andropogon diatherus Steud., Andropogon hochstetteri Steud., Cymbachne fastigiata (Sw.) Roberty, Heteropogon hochstetteri (Steud.) Andersson ex Schweinf., Pollinia fastigiata (Sw.) Spreng., Sorghum fastigiatum (Sw.) Kuntze

Taxonomic information 

This species used to be in the Andropogon genus. Since 2007, it is considered to be in genus Diectomis (Vorontsova, 2013).


Andropogon fastigiatus L. (Diectomis fastigiata (Sw.) P. Beauv.) is an annual tufted grass mainly found in tropical Africa that is used as forage and pasture. It can be used for thatching.


Andropogon fastigiatus is a tufted annual species that reaches 30-200 cm in height. Green in colour, and turns orange-brown when dry. Most leaves are basal, the shoots are not compressed and the culms are branched in the upper part. Leaf sheaths are glabrous. The leaf blades are flat, linear, 5–30 cm long, 1–2 mm wide, glabrous, apically filiform, held erect or curved and not curling when dry. The margins are smooth and basal leaf sheaths are rounded. The inflorescence is a leafy terminal or lateral panicle made of single racemes. Racemes are 2–5 cm long. Internodes and pedicels are clavate, ciliate. Spikelets maybe pedicellate or sessile. Pedicellate spikelets are large, oblong, 9 mm in lentgh. Sessile spikelets are 4–5 mm long. (Kew Science, 2021; Vorontsova, 2013; Quattrocchi, 2006; Clayton et al., 1982)


Andropogon fastigiatus is used for forage and pasture (Quattrocchi, 2006). It has been used for thatching and has been assessed for the production of xylitol a non cariogenic sugar (Quattrocchi, 2006; Rotschild et al., 1991).


Andropogon fastigiatus is a pantropical native species, likely to have been introduced in Madagascar. It grows from 400 up to 1700 m altitude (Clayton et al., 1982). It is naturally found on dry open areas like savannahs, dry fallows, or at the edges of forests, open pine forests or riverbanks. It does well on sandy, gravelly, rocky soils of hillsides and roadsides (Quattrocchi, 2006).

Environmental impact 

Savannah restoration

Andropogon fastigiatus has been reported to be an effective species for savannah (Cerrado) restoration in Brazil through direct seeding (Pelizzarro et al., 2017).

Nutritional aspects
Nutritional attributes 

Like other Andropogon species, the nutritional value of Andropogon fastigiatus is medium to low, with protein content ranging from 2 to 13% DM.


Andropogon fastigiatus is relished by cattle at vegetative stage (Carrière, 2000). In India, Andropogon fastigiatus has been classified as highly palatable forage for livestock (Gorade et al., 2014). In Brazil, native pastures combining Andropogon fastigiatus and Aristida spp. could be grazed by livestock. Maximum weight gain (159 g/day) in 24-30 month old crossbred cattle grazing could be obtained and the lowest stocking rate (0.25 animal/ha) (Costa et al., 1981).


No information appears to be available in the international literature (February 2021) on the use of Andropopgon fastigiatus in the diet of rabbits. However, Andropogon fastigiatus is generally considered to be an excellent and safe forage, very palatable for grazing livestock (Müller, 2008; Gorade et al. 2014). It is very likely that this fodder could be used in rabbit feeding without any problem other than harvesting the fresh or dry product (such as hay). However, direct experiments with rabbits would be welcome.

Nutritional tables
Tables of chemical composition and nutritional value 

Avg: average or predicted value; SD: standard deviation; Min: minimum value; Max: maximum value; Nb: number of values (samples) used

Main analysis Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Dry matter % as fed 32       1  
Crude protein % DM 6.7 4.6 1.7 13.4 5  
Crude fibre % DM 43.1       1  
Neutral detergent fibre % DM 82.9         *
Acid detergent fibre % DM 50.7         *
Ether extract % DM 1.1       1  
Ash % DM 6       1  
Insoluble ash % DM 3.5       1  
Gross energy MJ/kg DM 18.7         *
Minerals Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
Calcium g/kg DM 1.9       1  
Phosphorus g/kg DM 1       1  
Potassium g/kg DM 12.7       1  
Sodium g/kg DM 0.02       1  
Magnesium g/kg DM 1.9       1  
Ruminants nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
OM digestibility, ruminants % 53.5         *
Energy digestibility, ruminants % 51.1         *
DE ruminants MJ/kg DM 9.6         *
ME ruminants MJ/kg DM 7.7         *
Rabbit nutritive values Unit Avg SD Min Max Nb  
DE rabbit MJ/kg DM 5.5         *
Energy digestibility, rabbit % 29.2         *

The asterisk * indicates that the average value was obtained by an equation.


CIRAD, 1991; Sawadogo, 1996

Last updated on 29/07/2021 16:27:16

Datasheet citation 

Heuzé V., Tran G., Bazan, S., Lebas F., 2021. Andropogon (Andropogon fastigiatus). Feedipedia, a programme by INRAE, CIRAD, AFZ and FAO. https://www.feedipedia.org/node/605 Last updated on July 29, 2021, 16:39