African Fountain Grass

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Cenchrus setaceus


This is an erect, densely-tufted perennial which grows to 1 metre tall and may live for up to 20 years.

Leaf blades are very coarse to touch. They are folded or flat and mostly eight to 30 centimetres long. Flowers are distinctive feathery and pinkish. Flowering occurs during spring and summer; from September to February.

Seed head is a pink, feathery spike, 10 to 25 centimetres long and up to 1.6 centimetres wide.

Habitat it invades dry, hot sites and has been planted in gardens and along road sides.

Weed characteristics it is a highly invasive, fire adapted coloniser that readily out competes native plants. It increases the intensity and spread of fires, resulting in severe damage to native dry forest species.

Dispersal The plant produces large numbers of wind dispersed seeds, whose spread is almost impossible to prevent.

Declaration Details

African fountain grass is a Class 3 declared plant under Queensland legislation.

How to act

Spot spraying with appropriate herbicide and control with slashing prior to seeding. Painting the leaf blades with a wiper covered in chemical-soaked wick or carpet may be used to control early growth. Individual plants can be physically removed with a need for follow up monitoring and control recommended.

Refer to Weed Control Methods.


Related information

African Fountain Grass © NQ Dry Tropics 2011
African Fountain Grass © NQ Dry Tropics 2011

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