The Biology of Australian Weeds 64. Hyparrhenia hirta (L.) Stapf

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The Latin name Hyparrhenia (family Poaceae) is derived from the Greek hypo meaning below and arrhenos meaning male and refers to the lower male floret of the fertile spikelet. The species name hirta, meaning hairy, refers to the hairy florets. Hyparrhenia hirta (L.) Stapf is a member of the subfamily Panicoideae and the tribe Andropogoneae.

The plant is commonly known as Coolatai grass (New South Wales), Tambookie grass (Australia), South African bluestem (United States of America), and common thatching grass (southern Africa).

Hyparrhenia hirta is regarded as a highly invasive weed species in Australia, estimated in 2004 to have infested at least 1 million ha.  Populations of H. hirta are found in all mainland states and territories of Australia. The species can dominate pastures over a range of soil types and conditions. While pasture dominated by H. hirta can be both resilient and productive, it requires higher levels of management than would be commonly employed. The cost of controlling the species will often exceed the productive value of the land since the species is relatively tolerant of most herbicides that can be used for larger-scale management.

Cite this article as:

Chejara, V.K., Kristiansen, P., Sindel, B.M., Johnson, S.B., Whalley R.D.B. and Nadolny, C. (2014). The Biology of Australian Weeds 64. Hyparrhenia hirta (L.) Stapf. Plant Protection Quarterly 30(1), 2-11.


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First published online: April 28, 2015