The Grabine/Foggs Crossing Landcare Group held a Plant and Weed Id Day at the Grabine State Park in April with Alison Elvin as part of Tussock Tamers. The group went to three places in the Park and on a neighbouring property to look at incursions of the noxious weed, Coolatie Grass.
Coolatie Grass (Hyparrhenia hirta)
- Coolatai grass is a native of tropical and temperate Africa, the Mediterranean region, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.
It is an invasive drought, fire and herbicide tolerant tussock forming perennial grass. It has become a major invasive species in northern New South Wales (NSW) and southern Queensland, dominating pastures over a range of soil types and conditions. It is also one of the few perennial grasses capable of invading undisturbed natural ecosystems and is a major threat to natural biodiversity in stock routes, nature reserves and National Parks.
It is a long lived summer active perennial grass that forms a dense tussock and grows to 1.5 m. It has greyish-green leaves that turn orangey-red in winter, particularly after frost. The leaves are harsh to touch. Leaf sheaths are usually hairless and keeled. The leaf blade is flat and 2-3 mm wide with the ligule 2-3 mm long and minutely toothed.
The seedhead is a ‘false panicle’ consisting of paired racemes with 5-8 awns per raceme. The paired racemes are up to 35 mm long and arise from 3-8 cm long flower bracts. Half the flowers are male and therefore sterile.
More information about Coolatie Grass can be found on the NSW DPI website http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/agriculture/pests-weeds/weeds/profiles/coolatai and you can downloaad a brochure from the Lachlan CMA on Coolatie Grass here: Coolatie Grass Brochure
The Foggs Crossing Landcare Group will be holding further field days and workshops in the coming year. If you would like to be involved with this group please contact Sean Proudman
ph: 0409128760 email: firstname.lastname@example.org