Alert List for Environmental Weeds
Department of the Environment and Heritage and the CRC for Australian Weed Management, 2003
ISBN 1 9209 3243 7
About the guide
Uruguayan rice grass is on the Alert List for Environmental Weeds, a list of 28 non-native plants that threaten biodiversity and cause other environmental damage. Although only in the early stages of establishment, these weeds have the potential to seriously degrade Australia's ecosystems.
Because it forms dense tussocks, is stimulated by fire and is resistant to grazing, Uruguayan rice grass may compete well against native plants in Australia. It is the most prevalent species of the genus Piptochaetium in its native range and may therefore have the weediest characteristics. It has been estimated to have a potential distribution of 600,000 hectares through Victoria and New South Wales.
Uruguayan rice grass is related to the genus Nassella, which includes the Weed of National Significance Chilean needle grass (Nassella neesiana) and serrated tussock (Nassella trichotoma), which costs south-eastern Australia's grazing industries more than $40 million a year in lost production and control expenditure.