Weeds in Australia

Publications and resources

Chilean needle grass (Nassella neesiana) weed management guide

Weeds of National Significance
Department of the Environment and Heritage and the CRC for Australian Weed Management, 2003
ISBN 1 9209 3205 4

PDF file

About the guide

Chilean needle grass is a Weed of National Significance. It is regarded as one of the worst weeds in Australia because of its invasiveness, potential for spread, and economic and environmental impacts. It is closely related to another Weed of National Significance, serrated tussock (Nassella trichotoma).

Chilean needle grass affects both sown pasture and native grasslands of southeastern Australia. It is relatively unpalatable and reduces farm productivity by displacing more desirable pasture species. Heavy infestations can decrease productivity by as much as 50% during summer. It also causes injury to stock and downgrades wool, skins and hides with its long, sharp seeds.

As an environmental weed it reduces biodiversity in native grasslands, where it outcompetes indigenous species. A survey of landholders in Victoria, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory estimated the average annual cost of controlling Chilean needle grass was between $60 and $120 per ha, depending on whether the infestation was scattered or dense.

This management guide was prepared in 2003. The state and territory contacts in this document may be out of date.

For advice on weed control in your state or territory see the primary contacts on the State and territory weed management arrangements page.

Contact details

Bronwen Wicks
NSW Department of Primary Industries
159 Auburn St (PO Box 389) GOULBURN NSW 2580
Tel: (02) 4828 6632
Fax: (02) 4822 3262
Mob: 0458 286 632

Extent in Australia Potential distribution
NSW, VIC, SA, ACT Could further expand in current locations; plus WA, QLD, TAS
Cover of Chilean needle grass (Nassella neesiana) - Weeds of National Significance - Weed Management Guide

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