Nassella Tussock

South America

General description

Perennial tussock grass < 1 m tall. Leaves are fine and wiry. Seed heads are drooping and purplish.

What you need to know

To help protect our environment:

  • You must not breed, distribute, release or sell nassella tussock. As nassella tussock is a National Pest Plant Accord species, these restrictions apply within the Auckland region and across the whole of New Zealand.
  • You must not plant nassella tussock within the Auckland region.
Auckland Council will control nassella tussock at all sites where it is known to occur.

If you see nassella tussock anywhere in the Auckland region, please report it to Auckland Council at

Open habitats, pasture, disturbed shrubland, rocky habitats.

Seeds dispersed by wind and attachment to animal pelts. Human-mediated dispersal through contamination of clothing, footwear and machinery.

Invasive in open habitats. Unpalatable to livestock and selective grazing may displace valuable pasture species.

Site Management

Recommended approaches

Do not attempt to undertake control of this species. Please report to Auckland Council.

CAUTION: When using any herbicide or pesticide please read the label thoroughly to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

Similar species

Mexican feather grass
Nassella tenuissima

Mexican feather grass has less bright leaves and a smaller projection at base of floret (0.2-0.4 mm). The awn (the long bristle-like appendage extending from the end of the seed) is 4.5 to 9 cm long in N. tenuissima; 2 to 3.5 cm in N. trichotoma.

Chilean needle grass
Nassella neesiana

The awn (the long bristle-like appendage extending from the end of the seed) 2 to 3.5 cm in N. trichotoma and 6 to 9 cm long in N. neesiana.

RPMP status

Whole region (Eradication)
National Pest Plant Accord Species
Nassella tussock - Main species image