The distribution and impact of South/North American stipoid grasses (Poaceae: Stipeae) in Australia

D.A. McLarenA, V. StajsicB and M.R. GardenerC, Co-operative Research Centre for Weed Management Systems

A Department of Natural Resources and Environment, Keith Turnbull Research Institute, PO Box 48, Frankston, Victoria 3199, Australia.

B National Herbarium of Victoria, Birdwood Avenue, South Yarra, Victoria 3141, Australia.

C University of New England, Armidale, New South Wales 2351, Australia.


The current and potential distribution of ten introduced South/North American stipoid grass weeds is documented. The known ecology and the impacts on agriculture and the indigenous vegetation are presented. Nassella trichotoma has significant impacts on both agriculture and the environment. N. neesiana is among the most serious environmental weeds of grassland and grassy-woodland communities in southeast Australia. N. leucotricha and especially N. hyalina are serious environmental weeds of grassland communities, particularly on the Victorian Volcanic Plains. Achnatherum caudatum and A. brachychaetum have the potential to become very serious agricultural and environmental weeds, as they possess abundant cleistogenes that promote dispersal and survival under cultivation. A. brachychaetum remains poorly known due to its similarity and confusion with A. caudatum. N. charruana poses a significant weed threat due to its invasiveness and unpalatibilty. N. megapotamia and Piptochaetium montevidense are poorly known species with little to no information available on their ecology and weed status in Australia. Attempts to eradicate Jarava plumosa in South Australia have proved difficult. Ten recommendations are made.


Plant Protection Quarterly (1998) 13 (2) 62-70.