Urochloa mutica (Forssk.) T.Q.Nguyen
Novosti Sist.Vyssh.Rast. 13 (1966)

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

Brief Description
Grazyna Paczkowska, Saturday 30 October 1993

Stoloniferous, basally decumbent perennial, grass-like or herb, 0.25-1.25 m high. Fl. green, Apr to Jul. Sandstone.


Beard’s Provinces: Northern Province, South-West Province.

IBRA Regions: Central Kimberley, Dampierland, Ord Victoria Plain, Swan Coastal Plain, Victoria Bonaparte.

IBRA Subregions: Dandaragan Plateau, Hart, Ord, Ord-Victoria Plains P1, Perth, Pindanland, Victoria Bonaparte P1.

Local Government Areas (LGAs): Broome, Cocos Islands, Gingin, Halls Creek, Wanneroo, Wyndham-East Kimberley.

Management Notes (for the Swan NRM Region)
Kate Brown and Karen Bettink, Monday 26 August 2019

Alternative Names. Mauritius grass, giant couch, California grass, scotch grass.

General Biology. Growth form. Grass. Life form. Perennial, stoloniferous. Reproduction. Stolons, irregular seeder. Dispersal. Wind, water. Photosynthetic Pathway. C4. Fire response. Resprouts.

Notes. Has been widely promoted throughout northern Australia for pasture, however is a serious weed that threatens large areas of wetland from northern New South Wales to Western Australia. Destroys waterbird breeding habitats and displaces native vegetation. Increases fire intensities, fuel loads and flame heights, resulting in damage to fire-sensitive woody vegetation. Frost sensitive in temperate areas. Adapted to a wide range of soil types, from sandy to clay soils of moderate to good fertility. Tolerates moderate salinity, low pH and high levels of trace elements normally produced under water-logged conditions. Tolerates flooding, with the depth of water tolerance related to water temperature. Develops adventitious rootlets under flooded conditions. Moderately tolerant of shade but prefers full sun. Little or no flowering is reported at subtropical latitudes. Reproduction is mainly vegetative, however it will flower and produce seed in humid, low altitude environments.

Additional information. Origin. Africa. History of use/introduction. Pasture, erosion control.

Suggested method of management and control. Spray with 2% glyphosate. 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  
Herbicide Treatment Y                 O Y Y  

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



  • Brown, K. & Brooks, K. (2002) Bushland Weeds: A Practical Guide to their Management. Environmental Weeds Action Network, Greenwood.
  • Cook, B.G., Pengelly, B.C., Brown, S.D., Donnelly, J.L., Eagles, D.A., Franco, M.A., Hanson, J., Mullen, B.F., Partridge, I.J., Peters, M. & Schultze-Kraft, R. (2005) Tropical Forages: an interactive selection tool - Brachiaria mutica. CSIRO, DPI&F(Qld), CIAT and ILRI, Brisbane, Australia. URL: http://www.tropicalforages.info/key/Forages/Media/Html/Brachiaria_mutica.htm - Accessed February 2010.
  • Douglas, M.M. & O'Connor, R.A. (2003) Effects of the exotic macrophyte, para grass (Urochloa mutica), on benthic and epiphytic macroinvertebrates of a tropical floodplain. Freshwater Biology, 48: 962-971.
  • Douglas, M.M. & O'Connor, R.A. (2004) Weed invasion changes in fuel characteristics: Para Grass (Urochloa mutica (Forssk.) T.Q. Nguyen) on a tropical floodplain. Ecological Management and Restoration, 5 (2): 143-145.
  • Harden, G.J. (ed.) (1990-93) Flora of New South Wales Vols. 1 to 4. New South Wales University Press, Kensington.
  • 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.
  • Land Protection (Invasive Plants and Animals) Queensland (2007) Fact sheet: Para grass Brachiaria mutica. Biosecurity Queensland, Queensland Government.
  • Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (2008) Plant threats to Pacific ecosystems. URL: http://www.hear.org/pier/scinames.htm - Accessed January 2010.
  • Smith, N. (1995) Weeds of Natural Ecosystems: a field guide to environmental weeds of the Northern Territory. Northern Territory Environment Centre.
  • Swarbrick, J.T. & Skarratt, D.B. (1994) The bushweed 2 database of environmental weeds in Australia. The University of Queensland, Gatton College.

Project information and acknowledgements