Rhizomatous (or stoloniferous), prostrate perennial, grass-like or herb, 0.05-0.3 m high. Fl. green-purple, Jun to Nov or Feb. Sand, loam, clay.
Alternative Names. Bermuda grass.
General Biology. Growth form. Grass. Life form. Perennial, stoloniferous/rhizomatous. Reproduction. Seed, rhizomes, stolons. Dispersal. Water, ants, wind, slashing, garden refuse, deliberate planting. Photosynthetic Pathway. C4. Toxicity. Can be toxic to animals due production of cyanogenic compounds. Seedbank persistence. 3-4 years. Fire response. Survives most fire, reshoots from rhizomes.
Notes. Inhabits open sites subject to frequent disturbances such as grazing, flooding and fire. Prefers fertile sandy to silty soils or alluvium. Favours moist and warm climates. Shade reduces vigor. Known host of pathogens and pests. Documented as allelopathic, capable of reducing the germination and growth of other species. Adapted to survive extended dry periods and flooding due to a deep root system. Generally tolerant of low soil pH and high salt concentration, however is susceptible to cold temperatures. Growth slows in cold weather, in shade and/or dry soils. A number of variants and cultivars have been developed worldwide, mainly to increase drought resistance, cold hardiness, disease resistance and forage production. Rhizomes shoot at 10 degrees celsius, but shooting can occur at 30-40 degrees celsius. Rhizomes are resistant to drought and waterlogging, and sensitive to light.
Additional information. Origin. Africa, southern Europe. History of use/introduction. Turf, pasture. Similar native species. Sporobolus virginicus.
Suggested method of management and control. Small infestations may be dug out, ensuring removal of all rhizomes and stolons, however it is difficult to eradicate without herbicides. Spray Fusilade® Forte at 13 ml/L + wetting agent or for generic fluazifop-p (212g/L active ingredient) 8mL/L + wetting agent when plants are small and beginning new growth, or 1% glyphosate in late spring/summer and autumn when rhizomes are actively growing. In sensitive areas try painting runners or crowns with 50% glyphosate. Follow-up is nearly always required. Treatment is particularly effective after fire. 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.