Mexican feather grass
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 Agriculture Victoria immediately by calling 136 186 or emailing email@example.com.
Why is it important to report Mexican feather grass sightings to Agriculture Victoria?
Mexican feather grass is a serious weed to Australia. It is hardy, drought tolerant, unpalatable to stock and difficult to control. It is estimated that anywhere from 14 million to several 100 million hectares of Australian land could be vulnerable to Mexican feather grass infestation. This could exceed the spread of the closely related serrated tussock, widely regarded as Australia's worst pasture weed.
If allowed to establish, the economic and environmental costs of Mexican feather grass could reach tens of millions of dollars annually.
How to identify Mexican feather grass
Mexican feather grass is a dense upright tussock that grows to about 70 cm 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 5-9 cm long) with one or more bends.
What should you do if you find Mexican feather grass?
If you think you have seen Mexican feather grass, please contact Agriculture Victoria on 136 186 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please do not attempt to treat or dispose of this weed yourself. Agriculture Victoria 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 but can be distinguished by its much shorter awn (tail 2.5-3.5cm) on seeds.
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.