Mexican Feather Grass
Have you seen Mexican feather grass? Report it now!
Mexican feather grass is a State prohibited weed
State prohibited weeds are the highest category of declared noxious weeds in Victoria. By definition they are either not yet in Victoria, or are here in small numbers, where their eradication is still possible.
All sightings should be reported to Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR) immediately by calling 136 186 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why is it important to report Mexican feather grass sightings to DEDJTR?
Ecological modelling indicates that the species could spread to more than 500 million hectares of land in Australia. If allowed to establish, the economic and environmental costs of an infestation this size are estimated at $10 million annually.
Mexican feather grass is closely related to serrated tussock, widely regarded as Australia's worst pasture weed. It is hardy, drought tolerant, unpalatable to stock and difficult to control.
How to identify Mexican feather grass:
Mexican feather grass is a dense upright tussock that grows to about 70cm high.
Leaves are thin and roll smoothly between the thumb and forefinger.
Serrations make the leaves feel coarse when sliding fingers down the length of the leaf blade.
Mature plants form small, white seeds that grow in the top third of the tussock.
Seeds have a long awn (tail) with one or more bends.
Click here to watch the Mexican feather grass video and learn more about Mexican feather grass identification.
What should you do if you find Mexican feather grass?
Please do not attempt to treat or dispose of Mexican feather grass yourself. DEDJTR will treat, remove and dispose of Mexican feather grass safely, at no cost to the land owner.
In 2008, Mexican feather grass was inadvertently sold by a number of retail chain stores throughout Victoria. Investigations have revealed that approximately 4000 Mexican feather grass plants may have been supplied to stores from January to May 2008. The distribution of the grass in Victoria is not known as there are still plants unaccounted for as a result of the sales in 2008.
Mexican feather grass is very similar to serrated tussock. Other grasses that are commonly reported as Mexican feather grass include fox tails (Pennisetum spp.) because the flowers look like feathers and the native poa (Poa spp.) as the growth habit is similar to that of a tussock. The difference in both cases are that the leaves of these grasses are flat, not tightly rolled like Mexican feather grass.