Weed of the Month – June 2016


(Paspalum dilatatum)


(Photos: E. Cousins, growth habit; http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/image/0007/199204/paspalum-190.jpg, seed head.)

This fairly common broad-leafed perennial from the Poaceae family is an exotic from South America. The plant will grow quite tall;  some at Cape Jervis are up to 1m high.  It grows in tussocks, with bright green, almost hairless leaves that tend to fold over near the bottom. The tussocks spread from short rhizomes underground, allowing the grass to recover quickly if grazed. Sadly for us, it is spreading into one of our good native patches at Cape Jervis. It is easily recognized from the seed heads. The purple-green seeds look like they are arranged in double rows very symmetrically along several branches, radiating out from the top of the flower stem. These are often sticky, which you will know if you play backyard cricket near them (in fact one common name for paspalum is sticky grass).