Grader grass

Native to India and Nepal, grader grass is an upright, tufted annual grass.

Grader grass can invade pastures and native grassland. It is found in coastal, subcoastal and seasonally dry tropical regions in Queensland and the Northern Territory.

Grader grass is not a prohibited or restricted invasive plant under the Biosecurity Act 2014.

Scientific name

Themeda quadrivalvis

Other names

Oatgrass, habana grass, kangaroo grass

Similar species

  • Native kangaroo grass, native oatgrass

Description

  • Upright, tufted annual grass 1-2.5m tall.
  • Stems are jointed, cane-like.
  • Leaf blades are long, narrow, up to 60cm long.
  • Flower spikes have bent, brown bristles along them.
  • Seed heads are reddish-brown when young, gold at maturity, 15-60cm long.

Habitat

  • Prefers subtropical and tropical areas.
  • Found along roadsides and in disturbed areas.

Distribution

  • Found throughout coastal, subcoastal and seasonally dry tropical regions of Queensland.

Life cycle

  • Seeds germinate year-round when light and moisture are present.
  • Flowers appear from 6 weeks after germination.
  • Grass dies when seeds are mature.
  • Seeds last up to 4 years in soil.

Impacts

Environmental

  • Invades pasture and native grassland, replaces native plants.

How it is spread

  • Seeds spread by vehicles, machinery and animals, and on clothing.
  • Also spread by soil movement along roadsides by graders.

Legal requirements

  • Grader grass is not a prohibited or restricted invasive plant under the Biosecurity Act 2014. However, by law, everyone has a general biosecurity obligation (GBO) to take reasonable and practical steps to minimise the risks associated with invasive plants and animals under their control.
  • Local governments must have a biosecurity plan that covers invasive plants and animals in their area. This plan may include actions to be taken on certain species. Some of these actions may be required under local laws. Contact your local government for more information.

Further information