Dicanthium - Cenchrus - Elyonurus type (Area : 434000 sq. km.)


  • This type is found to occur in the north west arid and semi arid regions between 23oN and 60-80oE comprising the plains of Punjab, Rajasthan, U.P. and north Gujarat, on soils that are alluvial or sandy loam in texture.
  • The main species found in this region are perennials like Dicanthium annulatum, Cenchrus ciliaris, C. setigerus, Cynodon dactylon and Elyonurus hirsutus, all of which are valuable forage grasses. However, even well developed grass lands deteriorate if grazed for too long and too heavily.




  • In the management of grass land of this type the objective should be to maintain a proper balance of Dicanthium and Cenchrus sp. in tracts occurring less than 20 inches and more than 10 inches of rainfall.
  • Below 10 inches, the objective should be to have a stand of Elyonurus hirsutus. Cynodon sp. represents the last stage of resistance of the perennial cover and hence when this stage is reached, the grazing should be stopped, to enable the grassland to recoup itself.
  • At the Aristida - Eragrostis stage, the grassland will be too poor to support any grazing and a complete closure for four to five years becomes imperative to allow the succession to attain the fair condition represented by Cynodon dactylon and Eleusine flagellifera. 
Last modified: Thursday, 24 November 2011, 9:15 AM