Structural characteristics (total in marked tillers of leaves (NFT), expanded leaves (NCE), green leaves (NFV) and dead leaves (NFS) and number of tillers per plant (NPP)) and morphogenic variables (tillering (TApPP) and rates of total leaf (TApFT), expanded leaf (TApFE) and live leaf (TApFV) appearance) were evaluated in four elephantgrass genotypes (Napier, Cameroon and Pioneiro cultivars and clone CNPGL 91 F27 05). Greenhouse evaluations were carried out every three days, from the 3rd to the 60th day after standardization cutting, according to a completely randomized block design under a factorial treatment scheme (four genotypes and 21 measurement days). The NFT and NCE of the CNPGL 91 F27 05 and Pioneiro genotypes were larger than those of Cameroon and Napier genotypes. The average TApFT was 0.249 leaves/day. The NFS increased progressively and equaled the growth of NCE 44 days after the standardization cut. Number of leaves and number of tillers per plant were positively correlated. The highest values for NFV were about eight and nine. A great potential for leaf density was observed for the Pioneiro cultivar.
elephant grass; vegetative structure; structural characteristic; rate of leaf appearance; tillering