Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Vasey Grass Paspalum urvillei

Vasey grass Paspalum urvillei is a highly invasive grass which is a native of Argentina and Uruguay which is mostly found growing in damp and disturbed localities in our area.

 A monospecific stand of Paspalum urvillei

Paspalum urvillei is a large dominant grass which produces vast amounts of viable seed that displaces other grasses to form large monospecific stands largely by means of allelopathy and direct competition for resources such as sunlight, water and nutrients.

This photo gives one an idea of the average size of Paspalum urvillei

Allelopathy refers to the beneficial or harmful effects of one plant on another plant, due to the release of biochemicals, known as allelochemicals, from plant parts by leaching, root exudation, volatilization, residue decomposition, and other processes.

This photo give a clearly shows that Paspalum urvillei 
completely displaces all other species

What alarms me most about this invasive alien grass and why I see it as a huge threat in areas that are being rehabilitated is that it spreads very rapidly and colonizing vast areas and that there are no selective herbicides available that can be used to selectively eradicate it as in the case of broad leafed and other non-grassy weeds. The only options to remove this invasive grass are to dig it out or the use of non-selective herbicides such as Glyphosate which would destroy all other vegetation in the areas being dealt with therefore the sooner stands of this invasive grass are located and are eradicated the better before their seed bank increases and spreads.

Michael Hickman
Landscape Design and Rehabilitation Specialist


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