Highly invasive weed Mexican feathergrass found on Kangaroo Island, Fleurieu, Limestone coasts

Nassella tenuissima or Mexican feathergrass weed. Photo PIRSA
Nassella tenuissima or Mexican feathergrass weed. Photo PIRSA

The highly invasive weed Mexican feathergrass has been reported in different areas around South Australia.

In late 2020, it was reported in several gardens across the Kangaroo Island, Limestone Coast, and Hills and Fleurieu Landscape Board regions.

Department of Primary Industries and Regions (PIRSA) is calling for gardeners, producers, and members of the general public to keep an eye out and report any further sightings of the plant.

It is declared under the Landscape South Australia Act 2019. Declared plants are weeds that are regulated due to the threat they pose to South Australia's natural environment, agriculture and public safety. Property owners have a legal responsibility to report these plants to their regional Landscape Board.

Mexican feathergrass presents a threat to South Australia's landscape. It is highly invasive, and each plant can produce 70,000 to 100,000 seeds a year. It is a low protein, high fibre grass with no grazing value because it is unpalatable to stock.

It is currently not known to be established in South Australia, other than detections in gardens which have been promptly removed. However, it has potential to spread from gardens to agricultural or bush lands, where it could impact primary production and the landscape's biodiversity.

The reports came from diligent members of the public. Reports of invasive weed sightings help protect pastures and native grasslands in South Australia and around the country.

If you think you have seen Mexican feathergrass, you should contact your regional Landscape Board, visit https://statewide.landscape.sa.gov.au/ to learn more.

The Department of Primary Industries and Regions provides state-wide policy advice for programs to destroy or contain weeds, working with Landscape Boards to manage declared plants within their regions.

This story Invasive Mexican feathergrass found on KI, Fleurieu, Limestone coasts first appeared on The Islander.

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