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