Family: - Poaceae.Names:
Other Names:African Foxtail
Summary:A vigorous, tussocky perennial grass, with low lying stems that bend upwards at the nodes and often forms roots at the nodes. It has a cylindrical seed heads that are often purple.
Leaves:Emerging leaf rolled in the bud.
Stems:300-1200 mm high. Bending upwards from knees at nodes near the base. Many branched and low lying near the base. Tussocky. Tough. Smooth. Slender. Hairless. Straggly. Many smooth, hairless nodes. Roots at the nodes. Sometimes stoloniferous. Rhizomatous.
Flower head:Not spiny. Dense. Cylindrical, erect to slightly curved, spike-like panicle. 20-150 mm long by 10-26 mm wide. Purplish or occasionally very light green to white. Bristles in 2 series, outer ones fine and rough, inner ones broad and joined and hairy near the base. Composed of a large number of spikelets groups (involucres).
Flowers:Spikelets - In groups of 1-3 or rarely 4, 4-5 mm long, attached to main stem by very short stalks. (Individual spikelets are stalkless). Enclosed in a ring of hairy bristles joined at the base, 5-15 mm long, which fall with the spikelet group at maturity.
Roots:Rhizomes. Fibrous feeder roots. Rough, stout, woody rootstock. Deep rooted.
Key Characters:Seed head is not spiny.
Physiology:Requires high phosphorus levels for longevity.
Flowering times:October in SA.
Seed Biology and Germination:Seed produced without fertilisation (apomictic).
Population Dynamics and Dispersal:Establishes in very wet summers.
Origin and History:Africa, Canary Islands, Asia, India and Madagascar.
Distribution:ACT, NSW, NT, QLD, SA, VIC, WA.
Climate:Semi arid and sub humid areas. Summer dominant rainfall areas. Drier areas.
Soil:High phosphorus soils. Red earth soils, unstable sandy areas, red sandy loams.
Plant Associations:Bimble Box. Often grows under trees where the soil phosphate levels are higher.
Detrimental:Weed of roadsides, drains, waterways, river banks, rotation crops, grasslands and disturbed areas. It often displaces native vegetation in low rainfall and desert areas.
Toxicity:May contain toxic quantities of oxalates.
Symptoms:Ill thrift, lameness, swelling of the head, harsh coats, wasting, lowered work tolerance, shortened gait, lying down and difficulty rising.
Treatment:Don't allow horses to graze for long periods in Buffel Grass dominant areas.
Management and Control:Glyphosate and the "fop" grass selective herbicides give good control.
Herbicide resistance:Biological Control:
Plants of similar appearance:References:
Acknowledgments:Collated by HerbiGuide. Phone 08 98444064 or www.herbiguide.com.au for more information.