White tussock

White tussock

Nassella tenuissima (Poaceae)

Common Name:

White tussock

Scientific Name:

Nassella tenuissima (Poaceae)


Alternative common names:

Witpolgras (Afrikaans)

Description:

A compact, tufted perennial grass growing up to 1m high which turns distinctly white in winter. Fine, bristly leaves are rough to the touch. Slender, compact inflorescences 10-30cm long included in the tuft in January. Seed bristles often become entangled forming dense 'nests'.

Additional Information


Where does this species come from?

South America

What is its invasive status in South Africa?

Existing legislation: CARA 2002 - Category 1 NEMBA 2020 - Category 1b

Where does this species come from?

South America

Where in South Africa is it a problem?

Eastern Cape

How does it spread?

Seed dispersal.

Why is it a problem?

This grass can replace the natural veld once this has been disturbed. Replaces nutritive grazing with unpalatable tussock and therefore reduces the carrying capacity of the land. Sharp seed awns cause irritation of the skin.

What does it look like?

General description: A compact, tufted perennial grass growing up to 1m high and distinctly white in winter.
Leaves: Fine, bristly leaves that are rough to the touch.
Flowers: Slender, compact inflorescences 10-30cm long included in the tuft in January.
Fruit/seeds: Seed bristles often become entangled forming dense 'nests'.

Does the plant have any uses?

No.

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