Lobed needle grass
Nassella charruana (Arechav.) Barkworth
Lobed needle grass is declared under the Catchment and Land Protection Act (1994) as a State prohibited weed. Lobed needle grass is indigenous to Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil. In Australia the species has only been found to occur in the outer northern suburbs of Melbourne, Victoria. It is believed to have been present for more than 40 years in Epping.
Lobed needle grass will stay green in paddocks after all other grasses have turned brown.
What are State prohibited weeds?
State prohibited weeds either do not occur in Victoria, or are present and can reasonably be expected to be eradicated. State prohibited weeds are the highest category of noxious weeds under the Catchment and Land Protection Act (1994). The Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR) is responsible for the eradication of State prohibited weeds. The Victorian Government is committed to preventing the introduction of high-risk weeds into Victoria, to protect our environment and economy.
Why is it so dangerous?
Lobed needle grass is closely related to serrated tussock, widely regarded as the worst pasture weed in Australia, and has the potential to cause major economic and environmental damage. It can easily be overlooked because of its similarity to indigenous tussock grasses and other Nassella species. The potential distribution of lobed needle grass in Australia has been estimated to be 600,000 ha, with a substantial area of Victoria at risk. Lobed needle grass forms dense competitive infestations. In Victoria it has invaded open woodlands and native and introduced grasslands including grassland dominated by other Nassella species.
How to identify lobed needle grass
Lobed needle grass is a perennial tussock that can grow up to 100 cm high.
Stems and leaves are tightly rolled and very smooth to touch. The bright green leaves feel like nylon cord when sliding fingers down the length of the leaf blade.
Seeds are around 6-8 cm long with two white lobes that look like wings surrounding the seed. The seed heads lean to one side and appear to shimmer in the afternoon sun.
What should you do if you find a lobed needle grass plant?
If you think you have purchased or seen a lobed needle grass plant, please contact us by telephoning 136 186.