Giant Parramatta grass (Sporobolus fertilis)

Giant Parramatta grass is a tall, aggressive perennial grass. Common in coastal areas of NSW and Qld.

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How does this weed affect you?

Giant Parramatta grass can dramatically decrease economic viability of grazing land and lower land values. It invades pastures and replaces more productive types of grass, especially after overgrazing or soil disturbance. 

What does it look like?

Giant Parramatta grass is a coarse tussocky grass, 70-160 cm tall.

The leaves are up to 110 cm long and 5 mm wide. They may be flat, folded or rolled inwards (either fully or partially).

The flower head is a dark, slaty green, dense, spike-like panicle 25-45 cm long, with branches usually lax at maturity, and sometimes diverging slightly. The spikelets are 1.5-2 mm long. 

Where is it found?

Giant Parramatta grass is native to tropical Asia and the Malesia region. Current distribution in Australia is from northern Cape York to the southern coast of New South Wales, with isolated infestations in Victoria and the Northern Territory.

Maps and records

  • Recorded presence of Giant Parramatta grass during property inspections (Map: Biosecurity Information System - Weeds, 2017-2024)
    These records are made by authorised officers during property inspections under the Biosecurity Act 2015. Officers record the presence of priority weeds in their council area and provide this to the NSW Department of Primary Industries. Records reflect the presence of the weed on the date of inspection.

How does it spread?

Giant Parramatta grass produce a large amount of seed that is dispersed by water, wind and machinery. At maturity seeds become sticky and can attach to hair or fur. Plants are capable of producing 85,000 seeds per square metre.

More information

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Control

Prevention

Clean machinery, vehicles and equipment that have been in a paddock with giant Parramatta grass before moving to a clean paddock. 

Hand weeding

Individual, isolated plants or very small infestations can be dug out. If the plants have seed heads, cut them off and bag them before digging plants out to limit the spread of seeds. Dispose of the seeds carefully.

Chemical control

Spot spraying

Spray actively growing plants. Cover all the foliage evenly.

Boom spraying

Spray when plants are actively growing. Check the permits and labels for detailed conditions.

Wick wipers

Wipers apply herbicide directly onto the leaves. This can better target the chemical and minimise damage to other species. Apply when the plants are actively growing.

Granule herbicide

Spot application of granules can be applied all year round.

Herbicide options

WARNING - ALWAYS READ THE LABEL
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 www.apvma.gov.au

See Using herbicides for more information.


PERMIT 9792 Expires 30/11/2025
Glyphosate 360 g/L (Various products)
Rate: 3.3 L per 10 L of water
Comments: Wiper suppression. Apply when plant is actively growing.
Withholding period: Nil.
Herbicide group: 9 (previously group M), Inhibition of 5-enolpyruvyl shikimate-3 phosphate synthase (EPSP inhibition)
Resistance risk: Moderate


Flupropanate 745 g/L (Tussock®)
Rate: 200 mL per 100 L of water
Comments: High volume spot spray. In Northern NSW apply from July to December inclusive, during the drier time of year. To obtain better herbicide selectivity and less damage to desirable pasture species, apply when the pasture is dormant, semi-dormant.
Withholding period: Spot spray: Do NOT graze or cut for stock feed for at least 14 days. Blanket spray: Do NOT graze, or cut for stock feed for at least 4 months. If stock are grazed in treated areas after required time has passed, remove stock from treated areas and do NOT slaughter or milk for human consumption until they have been on clean feed for at least 14 days.
Herbicide group: 15 (previously group J), Inhibition of very long chain fatty acid synthesis (VLCFA inhibitors)
Resistance risk: Moderate


Flupropanate 745 g/L (Tussock®)
Rate: 1.5–2.0 L/ha
Comments: Boom spray. Use the higher rate for heavy infestations. In Northern NSW apply from July to December inclusive, during the drier time of year. To obtain better herbicide selectivity and less damage to desirable pasture species, apply when the pasture is dormant, semi-dormant.
Withholding period: Spot spray: Do NOT graze or cut for stock feed for at least 14 days. Blanket spray: Do NOT graze, or cut for stock feed for at least 4 months. If stock are grazed in treated areas after required time has passed, remove stock from treated areas and do NOT slaughter or milk for human consumption until they have been on clean feed for at least 14 days.
Herbicide group: 15 (previously group J), Inhibition of very long chain fatty acid synthesis (VLCFA inhibitors)
Resistance risk: Moderate


Flupropanate 86.9 g/kg (GP Flupropanate)
Rate: 15 kg /ha
Comments: Evenly distribute granules. Apply when the pasture is dormant or semi-dormant. Optimum application time is autumn and early spring. Do not apply in severe droughts or to weeds retarded by burning.
Withholding period: Do not graze or cut for stock feed areas which have received any treatment other than spot treatment for at least 4 months. Spot treatment: Do not graze or cut for stock feed for at least 14 days. If stock are grazed in treated areas after required time has passed, remove stock from treated areas and do NOT slaughter or milk for human consumption until they have been on clean feed for at least 14 days. This requirement applies permanently to treated areas.
Herbicide group: 15 (previously group J), Inhibition of very long chain fatty acid synthesis (VLCFA inhibitors)
Resistance risk: Moderate


Flupropanate 86.9 g/kg (GP Flupropanate)
Rate: 1.5 g/m2
Comments: Spot application of granules can be applied all year round.
Withholding period: Do not graze or cut for stock feed areas which have received any treatment other than spot treatment for at least 4 months. Spot treatment: Do not graze or cut for stock feed for at least 14 days. If stock are grazed in treated areas after required time has passed, remove stock from treated areas and do NOT slaughter or milk for human consumption until they have been on clean feed for at least 14 days. This requirement applies permanently to treated areas.
Herbicide group: 15 (previously group J), Inhibition of very long chain fatty acid synthesis (VLCFA inhibitors)
Resistance risk: Moderate


Glyphosate 360 g/L (Various products)
Rate: 10–15 mL per 1 L of water
Comments: Spot spray. Apply when plants are actively growing in the vegetative stage to early seed head stage. Follow up treatments will be required.
Withholding period: Nil.
Herbicide group: 9 (previously group M), Inhibition of 5-enolpyruvyl shikimate-3 phosphate synthase (EPSP inhibition)
Resistance risk: Moderate


Glyphosate 360 g/L (Various products)
Rate: 6.0 L/ha OR 3L followed by 3L/ ha split treatment
Comments: Boom application for pasture replacement/improvement and best done as a split treatment after at least 20 cm of new growth.
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.
Central Tablelands Regional Recommended Measure* (for Regional Priority - Eradication)
Land managers should mitigate the risk of the plant being introduced to their land. Land managers should eradicate the plant from the land and keep the land free of the plant. A person should not deal with the plant, where dealings include but are not limited to buying, selling, growing, moving, carrying or releasing the plant. Notify local control authority if found.
Hunter Regional Recommended Measure* (for Regional Priority - Asset Protection)
Land managers should mitigate the risk of the plant being introduced to their land. Land managers should mitigate spread of the plant from their land. A person should not buy, sell, move, carry or release the plant into the environment. Land managers should reduce the impact of the plant on assets of high economic, environmental and/or social value.
North West
An exclusion zone is established for all lands in the region, except the core infestation area comprising the: Tamworth Regional Council.
Regional Recommended Measure* (for Regional Priority - Containment)
Whole of region: Land managers mitigate the risk of new weeds being introduced to their land. Within exclusion zone: Land managers should eradicate the plant from the land and keep the land free of the plant. A person should not deal with the plant, where dealings include but are not limited to buying, selling, growing, moving, carrying or releasing the plant. Notify local control authority if found. Within core infestation: Land managers should mitigate spread of the plant from their land. A person should not buy, sell, move, carry or release the plant into the environment. Land managers should reduce the impact of the plant on assets of high economic, environmental and/or social value.
*To see the Regional Strategic Weeds Management Plans containing demonstrated outcomes that fulfil the general biosecurity duty for this weed click here

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

Disclaimers

Pasture improvement may be associated with an increase in the incidence of certain livestock health disorders. Livestock and production losses from some disorders are possible. Management may need to be modified to minimise risk. Consult your veterinarian or adviser when planning pasture improvement. The Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 and Local Land Services Amendment Act 2016 restrict some pasture improvement practices where existing pasture contains native species. Contact Local Land Services for further details.

Reviewed 2024