African Love Grass

Also known as:
Weeping Love Grass

General description

Vigorous clump-forming perennial grass growing 1.5 m tall. Roots fibrous, up to 50 cm deep. Densely tufted, narrow hair like leaves harsh to the touch, margins rolled inwards and usually hairless. Leaves bright green to blue-green (blushes bronze-red after hard frost), usually curly at tips. Pyramid-shaped flower heads with small white flowers. Seeds blackish olive-purple (ripening greyish); on arching stems to 1 m long, Summer.

Steep, dry sites, short and tall tussockland, coastal areas, riverbeds, offshore and inshore islands, cliffs, herbfield; potentially throughout NZ.

Seeds via wind, mud on vehicles, stock and people. Vegetative spread.

Quickly forms dense stands in open country, displacing other grasses.

Site management

Difficult to control, repeat treatments every 3 months needed. Minimise disturbance, exclude stock. Densely plant with shade-forming species, where appropriate.

Recommended approaches

1. Dig out isolated plants. All year round.
2. Weed wipe: (500ml glyphosate/L). Spring-Summer.
3. Spray herbicide (150ml glyphosate (dense stands) + 20ml penetrant/10L or 150ml haloxyfop (selective) + 50ml crop oil (if not included)/10L) Spring-Summer.

Caution: when using any herbicide or pesticide PLEASE READ THE LABEL THOROUGHLY to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

RPMS status

Surveillance - Whole Region
National Pest Plant Accord species - nationwide
African love grass - Main species image