Pussytail grass (Pentaschistis pallida (Thunb.) H.P.Linder) invading native vegetation in South Australia: distribution and management options

Meg A. Robertson, Martlesham Crescent, Colonel Light Gardens, South Australia 5041, Australia.


Pussytail grass (Pentaschistis pallida (Thunb.) H.P.Linder) is naturalized in South and Western Australia and is widespread in the southern Mount Lofty Ranges of South Australia.It is most common in open or disturbed sites, including remnant grassy woodland. P. pallida has a growth cycle and many morphological features similar to native Danthonia spp., so accurate identification is critical before control measures are implemented. To utilize local knowledge as a source of information on the distribution of the species, a description of the species in comparison to similar wallaby grasses was distributed, along with a questionnaire. The consultation process was designed as a two way exchange of information to raise awareness of the species and seek local knowledge about its distribution and level of threat. Current management options include weed hygiene and prompt removal of new outbreaks to prevent spread, and the use of minimum disturbance, selective bush regeneration techniques to minimize the species' impacts on important native vegetation. Further research is needed to establish the status of the species outside the southern Mount Lofty Ranges, to determine whether eradication or containment is practical in other regions and to measure the competitiveness and impacts of P. pallida in native vegetation of varying degrees of modification and ongoing disturbance levels.


Plant Protection Quarterly (2004) 19 (2) 82-84.