*Please report Mexican feather grass to OISC. It is important NOT to pull and move the plant, as proper removal and disposal are essential to prevent spreading seeds and re-sprouting.
Mexican feather grass: (Nassella tenuissima)
Mexican feather grass, also known as Needlegrass, is native to the mountains of west Texas ans southern New Mexico, extending south into central Mexico. It is a popular ornamental grass that can become invasive outside its natural range. It is a serious weed in New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, and the United States. Mexican feather grass, like other invasive grasses, can spread rapidly and change ecosystem structures.
- Clumping grass that can grow between 30-90 cm (1-3 feet)
- Leaves are 0.25–0.5 mm wide, up to 60 cm long and tightly rolled with overlapped edges.
- Leaves roll smoothly between the fingers like a needle, but feel coarse when sliding fingers downwards along the leaf blade.
- Flowering stems are up to 70 cm high, round, smooth and hairless
- The flower head is 15–25 cm long and green or purplish in color.
- The flower head does not detach from the plant and it has a leaf-like sheath that encloses its lower section.
- Grows quickly and out-competes other plants for resources like water and space
- Poor pasture grass, degrades the quality of pasturelands, particularly in drier areas
- Fire-adapted, it can survive brush fires, where native plants cannot.
- Fire-promoting. Dry fountain grass is an excellent fuel for brush fires
- Changes structure of dry forest (from bushes, trees to grass savannah)
- Report Mexican feather grass to OISC by calling 286-4616 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
OISC works with homeowners to inform them of the threats Mexican feather grass poses to the island and offers non-invasive replacement. You can also find alternatives to invasive landscaping grasses by visiting PLANT PONO.
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