Tufted annual or perennial, grass-like or herb, 0.3-1.2 m high. Fl. red/purple, Jul to Dec or Jan to Apr. Sand, loam, granite. Roadsides.
Alternative Names. Blanketgrass, Holme's grass, Natal grass, Natal redtop, red Natal grass, ruby grass.
General Biology. Growth form. Grass. Life form. Perennial, caespitose. Reproduction. Seed. Dispersal. Wind, wildlife. Photosynthetic Pathway. C4. Fire response. Resprouts. Flowers and sets prolific seed.
Notes. In its native range it occurs in disturbed open habitats, often forming large stands. Widely distibuted outside its native range. Generally is a short-lived perennial but may be an annual. Displaces native vegetation and prevents the natural succession of native species. Germinates and grows under a wide range of temperature conditions with rates controlled by temperature when adequate moisture is available. Responds positively to addition of nutrients. Can be affected by mycorrhizal fungi which may play a role in facilitating or repelling invasion.
Additional information. Origin. South Africa, parts of the Mediterranean, India, North Africa. History of use/introduction. Erosion control, ornamental, forage.
Suggested method of management and control. Prevent seed set. Cut out small populations. Spray 13 ml/L (6.5 L/ha) Fusilade® Forte + wetting agent or for generic fluazifop-p (212g/L active ingredient) 8ml/L or 4L/ha + wetting agent. In less sensitive areas spot spray glyphosate at 1-2% solution + surfactant prior to flowering and seed set. Following fire is an optimum time to undertake control of populations. Read the manufacturers' labels and material safety data sheets before using herbicides. For further information consult the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to determine the status of permits for your situation or state.
Legend: Y = Yes, regularly, O = Occasionally, U = Uncertain, referred by others but not confirmed.