Stoloniferous, decumbent perennial (forming large colonies), grass-like or herb, (0.05-)0.1-0.5 m high. Fl. green-purple, Sep to Dec or Jan to Apr. Grey or black peaty sand. Cultivated as a lawn, has become naturalized, lake edges, estuaries.
Alternative Names. St. Augustine grass.
General Biology. Growth form. Grass. Life form. Perennial, stoloniferous. Reproduction. Stolons, occasionally seed. Dispersal. Water, plantings (lawn), occasionally livestock (seed in dung), machinery,shoes, dumped vegetation/soil, soil movement. Photosynthetic Pathway. C4. Toxicity. Produces allergens in summer. Implicated in calcinosis in cattle. Fire response. Resprouts.
Notes. Widely naturalised. Because of its dense growth and long-lived mat habit it can readily smother other species. Tolerant of a wide range of climatic conditions. Extremely shade tolerant, grows on poor soils, salt and drought tolerant, intolerant of heavy frost. Extremely tolerant of defoliation and survives under low fertility. Although commonly found on siliceous and calcareous sands, it can grow on a wide range of well or poorly drained soils, from sandy loams to light clays. Diploid types are more tolerant of cold and frost than many tropical grasses. Triploid types have poor cool season growth. Considerable variation in flowering time and intensity and frost tolerances exists among cultivars.
Additional information. Origin. Africa, North and South America. History of use/introduction. Pasture, silage, erosion control, lawn/turf, seed contaminant.
Suggested method of management and control. Spray with 1% glyphosate 2-3 times over a single growing season, alternatively spray Fusilade® Forte 13ml/L + wetting agent or for generic fluazifop-p (212g/L active ingredient) 8ml/L. Solarisation over warmer months can be useful for small, isolated infestations. 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.