Ehrharta erecta, Panic Veldt-grass

Image/s
Category
Grasses and Sedges
Scientific Name
Ehrharta erecta
Common Name/s
Panic Veldt-grass
Weed Information

Threat: High threat environmental weed.

Description: A widespread perennial grass that grows to 50cm tall. Loosely tufted, bright green leaves usually with an erect flowering stem. Grows well in shady areas. Very aggressive and quick growing, it can readily smother the growth and regeneration of indigenous plants.

Flowers: Emerge at any time of year. Upright or arching and stems sometimes branched near the base. Flowers are initially compact then become open and spreading at maturity.

Leaves and stems: Stems branched near the base, sometimes kinked where the stem and leaf meet and may be up to 1 metre long when trailing along the ground. Blades bright green, flat, 5–15cm long, droop with age and hairless. The mid-vein of the leaf is prominent on the underside. Older leaves are often blotched.

Note: Cool fires do not kill plants and can allow infestations to spread dramatically. Seed spread by birds, ants and soil movement. Can regenerate, flower and set seed throughout the year and mature plants can produce seed every four weeks. Infestations can be eradicated through a concentrated one to two year program as the seed does not persist for longer than 12 months. Annual Veldt-grass (Ehrharta longiflora), a relative of Panic Veldt-grass, is also a high threat environmental weed, is very common in Nillumbik and may significantly increase fuel loads when it dies back at the start of summer.

Similar indigenous species: Weeping Grass (Microlaena stipoides) has similar foliage and habitat requirements.

Control measures: Hand weeding, spot spraying, slashing, mowing and spot-burning.

Dispersal: Animals, machinery, water, vegetative, wind.