Grass Weeds

Mexican Feather Grass

Nassella tenuissima

Initially mislabelled and sold as an ornamental in Australia under the names Elegant Spear Grass, Pony Tail and Angel’s Hair, Mexican Feather Grass needs to be prevented from naturalising in Australia.
  • Family Poaceae
  • Origin South America
  • Habit Drooping perennial tussock forming grass which grows in dense clumps. up to 0.8 m in height.
  • Leaves Leaf blades to 0.5 mm wide, tightly rolled and with small serrations that can be felt when fingers are moved downward along the blade. Distinguished by hairless nodes, some usually visible; ligule membranous and hairless, to 2.5 mm long.
  • Flowers Seedhead: Young seedheads held among the leaves; mature seedhead to 25 cm long; glumes purplish in the lower half to 1 cm long; callus bearded. Flowers summer.
  • Fruit Lemma to 3 mm long, awn narrow, straight or obscurely twice bent, 4.5–9 cm long; attached centrally to the top of the lemma.
  • Roots Fibrous clump.
  • Dispersal Seed spread by water, animals, humans, contaminated soil (earthmoving equipment, slashers, mowers etc) and as an ornamental.
  • Control Hand pull/dig, bag all seed heads. Foliar spray.
This grass is a weed in its native range. If it naturalises in Australia it potentially has a wider range than Serrated Tussock. Mexican Feather Grass escaped from cultivation in New Zealand and has become a weed that is continuing to spread.

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