Tufted perennial or annual (long-lived), grass-like or herb, 0.1-0.5(-0.7) m high. Fl. green-purple, Nov to Dec or Jan to Jun.
Beard’s Provinces: Eremaean Province, South-West Province.
IBRA Regions: Avon Wheatbelt, Esperance Plains, Jarrah Forest, Little Sandy Desert, Swan Coastal Plain, Warren.
IBRA Subregions: Avon Wheatbelt P2, Fitzgerald, Northern Jarrah Forest, Perth, Southern Jarrah Forest, Trainor, Warren.
IMCRA Regions: Leeuwin-Naturaliste, WA South Coast.
Local Government Areas (LGAs): Albany, Augusta-Margaret River, Busselton, Collie, Cranbrook, Denmark, Fremantle, Gnowangerup, Harvey, Jerramungup, Manjimup, Melville, Mundaring, Murray, Plantagenet, Rockingham, South Perth, Stirling, Swan, Wiluna.
Alternative Names. Rat's tail grass, smut grass, tufty grass.
General Biology. Growth form. Grass. Life form. Perennial, caespitose. Reproduction. Seed. Dispersal. Wind, water, mammals including livestock, clothing. Photosynthetic Pathway. C4. Fire response. Resprouts.
Notes. Known to dominate in wet, swampy areas and displace other grasses. Declared a noxious weed in parts of New South Wales and Queensland. Has a well developed root system. Seeds become sticky when damp. Has a juvenile period of less than 6 months and longevity of 2 - 5 years. Fusilade® Forte has been shown to be effective for controlling seedling and juveniles plants of other Sporobolus species. Mechanical and chemical control methods for mature plants are largely ineffective and expensive, thus biocontrol agents for invasive Sporoblous in Australia including S. africanus are being investigated.
Additional information. Origin. South Africa. Similar exotic species. Sporobolus elongatus, S. creber. Similar native species. S. virginicus.
Suggested method of management and control. Cut and bag seed head then dig to remove. Try Fusilade® Forte 13ml/L + wetting agent or for generic fluazifop-p (212g/L active ingredient) 8ml/L on seedling and juvenile plants. Slash large clumps in winter/spring and spray regrowth with glyphosate at label rates. 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.
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Western Australian Herbarium (1998–). FloraBase—the Western Australian Flora. Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions. https://florabase.dpaw.wa.gov.au/