Hyparrhenia hirta (L.) Stapf Tambookie Grass
Prain, Fl.Trop.Afr. 9:315-317 (1919)

Conservation Code: Not threatened
Naturalised Status: Alien to Western Australia
Name Status: Current

Brief Description
Grazyna Paczkowska, Friday 19 November 1993

Densely tufted perennial, grass-like or herb, 0.3-1 m high. Fl. green/other, Nov to Dec or Jan to Mar or Jul. Sand, sandy loam. Roadsides.

Distribution

Beard’s Provinces: South-West Province.

IBRA Regions: Avon Wheatbelt, Esperance Plains, Geraldton Sandplains, Jarrah Forest, Mallee, Swan Coastal Plain, Warren.

IBRA Subregions: Avon Wheatbelt P2, Eastern Mallee, Fitzgerald, Geraldton Hills, Lesueur Sandplain, Northern Jarrah Forest, Perth, Recherche, Southern Jarrah Forest, Warren.

Local Government Areas (LGAs): Armadale, Augusta-Margaret River, Boyup Brook, Busselton, Cambridge, Canning, Esperance, Gingin, Gosnells, Greater Geraldton, Harvey, Irwin, Kalamunda, Manjimup, Mundaring, Murray, Nedlands, Northam, Perth, Ravensthorpe, Rockingham, South Perth, Subiaco, Swan, Wanneroo.

Management Notes (for the Swan NRM Region)
Kate Brown and Karen Bettink, Thursday 21 December 2017

Alternative Names. Coolatai grass, common thatching grass, thatching grass.

General Biology. Growth form. Grass. Life form. Perennial, caespitose. Reproduction. Seed, tillers. Dispersal. Machinery, mowing, water, wind, clothing, animals. Photosynthetic Pathway. C4. Seedbank persistence. Seedbank decreases greatly after two years. Fire response. Resprouts.

Notes. Forms dense tussocks capable of dominating the ground cover, reducing native plant diversity and affecting native fauna. Alters fire regimes. Self-fertile, enabling new populations to establish from a single plant. Deep rooted and drought-resistant. Withstands heavy grazing and defoliation. Sensitive to frost. Responds rapidly to summer rainfall and is highly competitive in infertile areas. Seed can germinate readily in different light regimes, over a wide range of temperatures, pH levels and under marginal water stress. Flowers over an extended period but is a poor and erratic seeder. Sheds seed readily. Greater germination in relatively dry soil conditions compared with native species may contribute to its successful establishment. May inhibit growth of tree seedlings including Acacia's. Smoke stimulates germination and vegetative growth.

Additional information. Origin. Africa, temperate and tropical Asia, Mediterranean. History of use/introduction. Introduced to Australia for pasture and animal fodder, elsewhere for erosion control, annimal fodder and thatching.

Suggested method of management and control. Extremely difficult to control once established and requires a sustained control program integrating different methods. Cut out small populations, ensuring tiller bud removal. Spot spray larger infestations with 3% glyphosate + 2 ml/L spraytech oil when actively growing (between November and March). Alternatively, slash in spring and spot spray regrowth when 15cm high with glyphosate + spraytech oil. A number of treatments may be required within the one year. Fire events provide the optimum time to undertake control as fire removes biomass, exhausts the soil seed bank and can provide a flush of new growth that allows efficient uptake of herbicides. 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
Dormant         O O O O O        
Active Growth Y Y Y O           O Y Y  
Germination Y Y Y O O O O O O Y Y Y  
Flowering Y Y Y Y             Y Y  
Fruiting Y Y Y Y               Y  
Manual Removal O O O O O O O Y Y Y Y Y  
Herbicide Treatment Y Y Y O O O O O O O Y Y  

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

 

References

  • Chejara, V.K., Kristiansen P., Sindel, B.M, Whalley, R.D.B. & Nadolny, C. (2012) Seed-bank and seedling dynamics in Hyparrhenia hirta are influenced by herbicide application and mowing management. The Rangeland Journal, 34 (2): 199-210.
  • Chejara, V.K., Kristiansen, P., Whalley, R.D.B., Sindel, B.M. & Nadolny, C. (2008) Factors affecting germination of Coolatai Grass (Hyparrhenia hirta). Weed Science, 56 (4): 543-548.
  • CRC Weed Management (2007) Weed Management Guide: Coolatai grass (Hyparrhenia hirta). CRC for Australian Weed Management.
  • Fetene, M. (2003) Intra- and inter-specific competition between seedlings of Acacia etbaica and a perennial grass (Hyparrhenia hirta). Journal of Arid Environments, 55: 441-451.
  • Ghebrehiwot, H.M., Kulkarni, M.G., Kirkman, K.P. & van Staden, J. (2009) Smoke solutions and temperature influence the germination and seedling growth of South African mesic grassland species. Rangeland Ecology & Management, 62 (6): 572-578.
  • Hussey, B.M.J., Keighery, G.J., Dodd, J., Lloyd, S.G. & Cousens, R.D. (2007) Western Weeds. A guide to the weeds of Western Australia. 2nd Edition. The Plant Protection Society of Western Australia, Victoria Park.
  • Leach, T.J. (2000) Managing a weed grass Hyparrhenia hirta Coolatai or Tambookie Grass. Native Grass – South Australia, 1 (6): 121-123.
  • Lloyd, S.G. & Moore, J. (2002) Coolati or tambookie grass (Hyparrhenia hirta (L.) Stapf): an introduced pasture grass with environmental weed potential. In Weeds: 'Threats now, & forever?'. Australian Weeds Conference, 13th, 8-13 Sept 2002, Perth WA, Proceedings. In Spafford J.H. (ed), and Moore, J. (ed). Plant Protection Society of WA Inc, s.1., 2002, p549-551.
  • Lodge, G.M., McMillan, M.G., McCormick, L.H. & Cook, A.S. (1994) Effects of glyphosate, flupropanate and 2,2-DPA on Hyparrhenia hirta (L.) Stapf (Coolatai grass). Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture, 34 (4): 479-485.
  • Mashau, A.C. (2009) South African National Biodiversity Institute's plant information website - Hyparrhenia hirta (L.) Stapf. S A National Biodiversity Institute and Pretoria National Herbarium URL: http://www.plantzafrica.com/planthij/hyparrhirta.htm - Accessed January 2010.
  • Mcardle, S.L., Nadolny, C. & Sindel, B.M. (2004) Invasion of native vegetation by Coolatai Grass Hyparrhenia hirta: impacts on native vegetation and management implications. Pacific Conservation Biology, 10: 49-56.
  • McCormik, L.H. & Lodge, G.M (1991) Coolatai grass - friend or foe. NSW Agriculture and Fisheries, Orange. Agnote Reg 2/015.
  • Parsons, J.M. (ed.) (1995) The Australian weed control handbook. 10th Edition. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
  • Tucker, P. (1997) Bushland weeds in South Australia. Trees for Life.
  • USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program (2009) Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN). National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland. URL: https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxon/taxonomysimple.aspx - Accessed October 2009.

Project information and acknowledgements