Elephant grass is a tufted perennial grass that can grow in stands up to 4 metres high. It is similar in appearance to sugarcane but has narrower leaves and does not grow to the same height (cane will grow to 6 metres).
Leaves are pale green up to 4 centimetres wide with a strong midrib tapering to a fine point. Flowers are large and range in colour from yellow to purple and can be up to 30 centimetres long. Each flower head has fine bristles along the spike.
Habitat it can grow wild on roadsides and is common in coastal areas or riparian and other moist areas.
Weed characteristics it forms bamboo-like, densely tufted clumps that invade bushland vegetation. It can persist in disturbed areas, outcompeting native vegetation.
Dispersal garden plantings and dumping of garden waste in bushland are the main sources of infestation. Unmanaged forage plantings that are not grazed also contribute to infestations.
Elephant grass is not a declared plant under Queensland legislation, however its control is recommended.
How to act
As the the plants are normally very tall, it is advisable to slash the plant and use herbicide to control the regrowth. This plant can be controlled by spot spraying with an appropriate herbicide. For scattered plants or isolated infestations hand chip, bag and removal of stool from paddock and burn.
Refer to Weed Control Methods.
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