Yellow nutgrass (Cyperus esculentus)

Yellow nutgrass is a perennial sedge-like plant. Its underground tubers can rapidly reproduce.


How does this weed affect you?

Yellow nutgrass reproduces rapidly from underground tubers. It:

  • reduces yields of grain crops including sugar cane, soy beans and sorghum
  • reduces yields in vegetable crops 
  • contaminates seed and harvested products
  • invades bushland.

What does it look like?

Yellow nutgrass is a perennial sedge. Its stems are up to 70 cm long and triangular in cross section. The stiff leaves may be longer than the stems. The yellow to yellowish brown flowerheads are made up of 5-10 branches (up to 10 cm long), each with clusters of 5-14 spikelets that have multiple florets. It has egg shaped tubers about 1 cm in diameter.

What type of environment does it grow in?

It thrives in low lying or irrigated land. 

More information

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Herbicide options

Users of agricultural or veterinary chemical products must always read the label and any permit, before using the product, and strictly comply with the directions on the label and the conditions of any permit. Users are not absolved from compliance with the directions on the label or the conditions of the permit by reason of any statement made or not made in this information. To view permits or product labels go to the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority website

See Using herbicides for more information.

Glyphosate 360 g/L (Various products)
Rate: 10 mL per 1 L water
Comments: Spot spray. For general weed control in domestic areas (home gardens), commercial, industrial and public service areas, agricultural buildings and other farm situations
Withholding period: Nil.
Herbicide group: 9 (previously group M), Inhibition of 5-enolpyruvyl shikimate-3 phosphate synthase (EPSP inhibition)
Resistance risk: Moderate

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Biosecurity duty

The content provided here is for information purposes only and is taken from the Biosecurity Act 2015 and its subordinate legislation, and the Regional Strategic Weed Management Plans (published by each Local Land Services region in NSW). It describes the state and regional priorities for weeds in New South Wales, Australia.

Area Duty
All of NSW General Biosecurity Duty
All pest plants are regulated with a general biosecurity duty to prevent, eliminate or minimise any biosecurity risk they may pose. Any person who deals with any plant, who knows (or ought to know) of any biosecurity risk, has a duty to ensure the risk is prevented, eliminated or minimised, so far as is reasonably practicable.

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For technical advice and assistance with identification please contact your local council weeds officer.

Reviewed 2021