Erect, tufted, perennial tussock <1m high, many shoots from base, harsh to touch. Like fescue in appearance. Leaves <5mm wide, flat, strongly ribbed on upper surface, rough bristly edges; upper surface bright green, underside dull grey-green. Large drooping purplish flowerheads (Nov-Dec). Seedhead hard, hairy, has pointed callus with very sharp, penetrating base. Seeds with long hair.
Dry, low fertility, open areas. Does not establish in fertile pastures where competition from other plants is too great.
Seeds via wool, clothing etc. Penetrate animal pelts. Backward pointing hairs prevent dislodgement.
Unpalatable to stock, forms dense clumps even in grazed areas, reduces pasture productivity. Sharp seeds damage pelts, blind livestock, can move through skin into muscles, causing abscesses.
Control before seeding period (Nov to Dec). Revegetate & maintain pasture with desirable species. Always exclude stock, machinery when in seed, look for adhering seeds. Follow up 6-monthly until eliminated.
1. Report it immediately to the Auckland Council Biosecurity team, who will arrange for its control at their expense.
2. Grub out small infestations before seed set (Nov to Dec).
3. Weed wipe spring (500ml glyphosate/1L).
4. Spray spring (60ml haloxyfop + 50ml crop oil/10L (selective) or 150ml glyphosate + 20ml penetrant/10L).
Caution: when using any herbicide or pesticide PLEASE READ THE LABEL THOROUGHLY to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.