steroidal saponins
Flower Color:
  • flower color
  • flower color
meadows, fields, pastures, haybales

Time of Greatest Risk


Geographical Distribution

Kleingrass distribution - United States

Related Species


Panicum coloratum

Blue Panicgrass, White Buffalograss, Bambatsi Panic, Makarikari Grass, Coolah Grass
5/ 10
Kleingrass (Panicum coloratum) is a warm-season, perennial bunchgrass that is native to Africa. It has been introduced in other regions worldwide for its forage value for livestock. It is found abundantly throughout the the southwestern United States.

Kleingrass Toxic Components

Panicum species contain steroidal saponins. If large quantities of steroidal saponins are ingested by horses, it can lead to liver damage and secondary photosensitization.

History of Poisoning Cases from Kleingrass

Between 1977 and 2000, kleingrass has resulted in over 85 cases of poisoning in grazing livestock. In 1988, 6 horses were diagnosed with chronic hepatic disease with clinical signs of anorexia and weight loss, after consumption of kleingrass hay.

What Kleingrass Looks Like

  • Stem: 2-4 mm diameter
  • Root: Shortly rhizomatous
  • Leaves: Glabrous to hair; green to glaucous blue-green
  • Seedhead: Panicles; green and purple spikelets


  • Photosensitization
  • Loss In Appetite
  • Weight Loss
  • Depression
  • Jaundice
  • Incoordination
  • Lameness


CHEMICAL CONTROL: Tolerant of pre-emergent application of propazine and triasulfuron, and post-emergent propachlor, metolachlor, and triasulfuron, but susceptible to atrazine, ametryne, prometryne, propazine, linuron, pendimethalin, alachlor, metolachlor, propachlor, metsulfuron methyl and imazapic. Tolerant of post emergent application of propazine, metsulfuron methyl and triasulfuron but not other herbicides. Susceptible to 2,4-D and dicamba up to 5-leaf stage, but relatively safe in established swards. Established stands are also tolerant of picloram, but rates should be checked.