elastic grass

Eragrostis tenuifolia
Elastic grass
Elastic grass
Elastic grass
Elastic grass roots
Elastic grass
Elastic grass
Elastic grass
Elastic grass seeds
Elastic grass seeds detail
Grass
Basal
Simple
Green
Green

A short-lived or long-lived tufted grass with upright stems growing up to 70 cm tall. The stems and leaves are tough and difficult to cut. The long and narrow leaf blades (up to 30 long and 3 mm wide) are mostly hairless. Its seed-heads (5-30 cm long) have many fine spreading branches that bear numerous small flower spikelets. These dark green or greyish-green flower spikelets (4-16 mm long and 1-3 mm wide) have 4-16 tiny flowers they become saw-toothed in appearance as they mature and contain tiny brown or reddish-brown seeds.

Common names 
Also known as: wiry lovegrass, elastic grass,
Family 
Poaceae
Deciduous 
No
Flowering time 
Year round
Native/Exotic 
Exotic
Origin 
Native to Africa, and possibly also the Arabian Peninsula and the Indian sub-continent.
Notifiable 
No
Council declaration 
SIL – Special Investigation List
Known distribution 

Widely naturalised in Queensland, including the south-eastern parts of the state. Most common in the Moreton district. Naturalised in some parts of New South Wales, the Northern Territory and Western Australia. Also naturalised on Lord Howe Island and sparingly naturalised in Tasmania.

Habitat 

A weed of roadsides, tracks, footpaths, gardens, lawns, disturbed sites, waste areas, crops and pastures that is particularly abundant in areas that undergo heavy traffic.

Habit 

A short-lived (i.e. annual) or long-lived (i.e. perennial) tufted grass with flowering stems reaching up to 70 cm tall.

Impact and control methods 
Stem and leaves 

The flowering stems (i.e. culms) tend to be upright (i.e. erect) and hairless (i.e. glabrous). The tough, elastic, light green coloured leaves consist of a leaf sheath at the base, which encloses the stem, and a spreading leaf blade. Their leaf sheaths are folded with some long hairs on the margins. The leaf blades (up to 30 long and 3 mm wide) are long and narrow (i.e. linear) in shape and gradually narrow to a point at the tip (i.e. acute apex).

Flowers and fruits 

The branched seed-heads (i.e. inflorescences) are open panicles (5-30 cm long) and are borne at the tips of the flowering stems (i.e. culms). Their branches are very fine with a hairy tuft at their bases and sometimes also a ring of glands. The flower spikelets (4-16 mm long and 1-3 mm wide) are somewhat flattened, narrow (i.e. linear) to egg-shaped in outline (i.e. ovate) when young, and gradually become saw-toothed in appearance as they mature. They have 4-16 tiny flowers (i.e. florets) and are dark green or grey-green in colour. The tiny 'seeds' (i.e. grains or caryopses) are brown to reddish-brown in colour, with a pitted surface, and are enclosed within the remains of the papery floral bracts (i.e. palea and lemma).

Reproduction and dispersal 

This species reproduces by seed, which may be spread by water, animals, vehicles or in contaminated soil.

Similar species 

Elastic grass (Eragrostis tenuifolia) is very similar to many introduced and native lovegrasses (Eragrostis spp.) and an expert may be required to confidently distinguish between them. Some of the most common weedy species in the region include Mexican lovegrass (Eragrostis mexicana), stinkgrass (Eragrostis cilianensis) and African lovegrass (Eragrostis curvula). These species can be distinguished by the following differences: elastic grass (Eragrostis tenuifolia) is a long-lived (i.e. perennial) plant (up to 60 cm tall) with upright seed-heads that do not droop or 'weep' when mature. Its flower spikelets are greyish-green in colour, relatively small (4-16 mm long and 1-3 mm wide), and have several (4-16) florets.Mexican lovegrass (Eragrostis mexicana) is a short-lived (i.e. annual) plant (usually less than 60 cm tall) with upright seed-heads that do not droop or 'weep' when mature. Its flower spikelets are greyish-green or purplish in colour, relatively small (3.5-9.5 mm long and about 2 mm wide), and have several (5-16) florets.stinkgrass (Eragrostis cilianensis) is a short-lived (i.e. annual) plant (less than 60 cm tall) with upright seed-heads that do not droop or 'weep' very much when mature. Its flower spikelets are greyish-green in colour, relatively large (3-30 mm long and 2-4 mm wide), and have numerous (5-60) florets.African lovegrass (Eragrostis curvula) is a long-lived (i.e. perennial) plant (growing up to 120 cm tall) with mostly upright seed-heads that do not droop or 'weep' when mature. Its flower spikelets are greyish-green (occasionally purplish) in colour, relatively small (4-10 mm long and 1-1.5 mm wide), and have several (4-13) florets. Note: For a more in-depth key to all of the grasses present in Australia, see the AusGrass: Grasses of Australia CD-ROM or Flora of Australia, Volumes 43 and 44.