Ammophila arenaria (L.) Link
Marram Grass

Hort.Berol. 1:105 (1827)
Conservation Code
Not threatened
Naturalised Status
Alien to Western Australia
Name Status

Rhizomatous, perennial, grass-like or herb, 0.4-0.7(-1) m high. Fl. green, Oct to Dec or Jan. Sand. Sand dunes.

Grazyna Paczkowska, Descriptive Catalogue, 14 October 1993


IBRA Regions
Esperance Plains, Jarrah Forest, Swan Coastal Plain, Warren.
IBRA Subregions
Fitzgerald, Perth, Recherche, Southern Jarrah Forest, Warren.
IMCRA Regions
Central West Coast, Leeuwin-Naturaliste, WA South Coast.
Local Government Areas (LGAs)
Albany, Augusta Margaret River, Bunbury, Busselton, Cottesloe, Denmark, Esperance, Harvey, Jerramungup, Manjimup, Rockingham.

Management Notes (for the Swan NRM Region)

Alternative Names. European beachgrass.

General Biology. Growth form. Grass. Life form. Perennial, rhizomatous. Reproduction. Primarily by vertical and horizontal rhizomes, occasionally by seed. Dispersal. Water, wind, mammals. Photosynthetic Pathway. C3. Time to first flowering. 2 years. Seedbank persistence. Short (rarely sets seed). Fire response. Resprouts, stimulates vigorous regrowth.

Notes. Rapidly invades coastal foredunes. Highly adapted to sand accretion, with burial promoting leaf elongation and development of vertical rhizomes from axillary buds. Able to trap sand and build dunes at rates that exceed the threshold tolerance of local native species. Out-competes native vegetation and interferes with the natural dynamics of dune systems, including changing topography, adversely affecting long term development of coastal barriers, inhibits transgressive dune development, increases steepness of slopes and restricts movement of sand from beach to interior dunes. Also disrupts structure and reduces diversity of dunal arthropod communities. Harbours symbiotic nitrogen-fixing bacteria within stems and rhizomes that may contribute to its proliferation on nutrient-poor sand. Seed set, viablility and survival is low, however viablity of buds remains high following submergence in seawater, giving the potential for long-distance vegetative dispersal to other beaches.

Additional information. Origin. British Isles, Europe. History of use/introduction. Dune stabilisation, erosion control.

Suggested method of management and control. Dig out small infestations. Alternatively spray with 1% glyphosate + penetrant. Grass selective herbicides are less effective. Requires ongoing manual removal and/or treatment of regrowth. Fire may provide an effective window for control, as it removes thatch and stimulates regrowth, creating ideal conditions for effective herbicide uptake. Consider staggering removal to manage erosion and allow native species to re-establish. 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.

Management Calendar

Calendar Type Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Comments
Active Growth                 Y Y Y    
Flowering                 Y Y Y Y  
Fruiting                   U U    
Optimum Treatment     O O O       Y Y Y    

Legend: Y = Yes, regularly, O = Occasionally, U = Uncertain, referred by others but not confirmed.



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