Nassella neesiana (Trin. & Rupr.) Barkworth

Chilean Needle-grass

Taxon 39: 611 (1990) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Naturalised

Tufted perennial, culms erect, to c.1 m high, nodes pubescent. Leaves glabrous or sparsely pubescent; blade flat or somewhat inrolled, to 30 cm long and 5 mm broad; ligule glabrous, to 3 mm long, sometimes obsolete. Inflorescence a loose, sometimes interrupted panicle to 40 cm long, the awns often twisting together at maturity. Glumes 16–20 mm long, strongly purplish, acuminate, subequal; lemma constricted toward the apex, 6–10 (mostly 8–10) mm long (excluding corona), pale brown at maturity, tuberculate, glabrous except near the callus and along the midrib; corona c. 1 mm long, excluding the slightly divergent apical spines 0.2–0.5 mm long; callus 2–4 mm long; awn twice bent, 60–90 mm long, 15–30 mm to the first bend, scabrous to pubescent; palea 1–2 mm long, hyaline, glabrous. Flowers mostly Oct.–Feb.

*CVU, *DunT, *GipP, *Gold, *GGr, *HNF, *HSF, *MuF, *NIS, *OtP, *VRiv, *VVP, *WaP, *Wim. Also naturalised SA, Qld, NSW, ACT, Tas. Native to South America. Locally common north and west of Melbourne (Whittlesea to Cressy, Ballarat area), mostly on basalt soils and often near watercourses, but progressively spreading on improved pasture, native grassland and road verges through the state (e.g. Beechworth, Tarnagulla, Maryborough, Warrnambool, Briagolong, Flinders). A Weed of National Significance.

Occasional plants have been observed with cleistogenes in basal leaf sheaths.

Created by: Neville Walsh, 2015-06-30
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2018-02-26
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Lilianae
order Poales
family Poaceae
genus Nassella
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Nassella neesiana in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Nassella neesiana in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Wimmera present naturalised
Victorian Volcanic Plain present naturalised
Victorian Riverina present naturalised
Murray Fans present naturalised
Gippsland Plain present naturalised
Otway Plain present naturalised
Warrnambool Plain present naturalised
Goldfields present naturalised
Central Victorian Uplands present naturalised
Greater Grampians present naturalised
Dundas Tablelands present naturalised
Northern Inland Slopes present naturalised
Highlands-Southern Fall present naturalised
Highlands-Northern Fall present naturalised

State distribution

Distribution map
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory