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White tussock

Nassella tenuissima

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White tussock:Nassella tenuissima White tussock:Nassella tenuissima

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 Info

  • Common name White tussock
  • Scientific name Nassella tenuissima (Poaceae)
  • Alternative common names

    Witpolgras (Afrikaans)

     

  • Where does this species come from? South America
  • What is its invasive status in South Africa? Existing legislation: CARA 2002 – Category 1 Proposed legislation: NEMBA – Category 1b
  • 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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