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Cenchrus ciliaris L.
Buffel Grass

Mant.Pl.Altera 302 (1771)
Conservation Code
Not threatened
Naturalised Status
Alien to Western Australia
Name Status

Tufted or sometimes stoloniferous perennial, grass-like or herb, 0.2-1.5 m high. Fl. purple, Feb to Oct. White, red or brown sand, stony red loam, black cracking clay.

Grazyna Paczkowska, Descriptive Catalogue, 1 November 1993


IBRA Regions
Avon Wheatbelt, Carnarvon, Central Kimberley, Central Ranges, Coolgardie, Dampierland, Gascoyne, Geraldton Sandplains, Gibson Desert, Great Sandy Desert, Great Victoria Desert, Indian Tropical Islands, Little Sandy Desert, Murchison, Northern Kimberley, Nullarbor, Ord Victoria Plain, Pilbara, Swan Coastal Plain, Tanami, Victoria Bonaparte, Yalgoo.
IBRA Subregions
Ashburton, Augustus, Cape Range, Carlisle, Carnegie, Chichester, Eastern Goldfield, Eastern Murchison, Edel, Fitzroy Trough, Fortescue, Geraldton Hills, Hamersley, Hart, Keep, Lateritic Plain, Mackay, Mann-Musgrave Block, McLarty, Merredin, Mitchell, Mount Eliza, Pentecost, Perth, Pindanland, Purnululu, Roebourne, Rudall, Shield, Southern Cross, Tanami Desert, Trainor, Western Murchison, Wooramel.
IMCRA Regions
Canning, Central West Coast, Kimberley, North West Shelf, Pilbara (nearshore), Pilbara (offshore), Shark Bay.
Local Government Areas (LGAs)
Ashburton, Broome, Carnamah, Carnarvon, Chittering, Cocos Islands, Coolgardie, Derby-West Kimberley, East Pilbara, Exmouth, Greater Geraldton, Halls Creek, Irwin, Joondalup, Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Karratha, Laverton, Meekatharra, Menzies, Murchison, Ngaanyatjarraku, Northampton, Port Hedland, Shark Bay, Stirling, Upper Gascoyne, Wiluna, Wyndham-East Kimberley, Yilgarn.

Management Notes (for the Swan NRM Region)

General Biology. Growth form. Grass. Life form. Perennial, caespitose. Reproduction. Seed, short rhizome. Dispersal. Primarily wind and water, also mammals (on skin and fur), birds, vehicles. Photosynthetic Pathway. C4. Seedbank persistence. 5+ years. Fire response. Resprouts. Heat may kill seeds, however buried or protected seed may survive and readily germinate in the post-fire environment.

Notes. Shade and fire tolerant. Adapted to frequent defoliation. Capable of changing fire frequency and intensity. Can begin producing seeds from approximately 3 months of age. Rhizomatous cultivars can produce seeds, but produce fewer numbers. Dormancy varies between climatic regions and can be broken by high temperatures. Germination rates are highest on the soil surface and can be poor and unpredictable particularly in low rainfall regions. Has developed resistance to some post-emergent herbicides.

Additional information. Origin. Native to Asia, Africa, Australia and the Americas and various oceanic islands.. History of use/introduction. Livestock forage, revegetation, erosion control. Similar exotic species. Cenchrus echinatus.

Suggested method of management and control. Cut out and physically remove small populations and seedlings. Entire plants with dormant buds must be removed. Spray with Verdict 6 L/ha (based on 500 L water/ha) + wetting agent or spot spray with 1% glyphosate six weeks after heavy rain. Follow-up with seedling control. Read the manufacturers' labels and material safety data sheets before using herbicides. For further information consult the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to determine the status of permits for your situation or state.

Management Calendar

Calendar Type Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Comments
Dormant           Y Y Y          
Active Growth Y Y Y Y Y       Y Y Y Y  
Germination O O O O O O O Y Y Y     Can germinate any time of year
Flowering Y Y Y             Y Y Y  
Fruiting Y Y Y Y             Y Y  
Optimum Treatment Y Y Y               Y Y  

Legend: Y = Yes, regularly, O = Occasionally, U = Uncertain, referred by others but not confirmed.



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