Austrostipa rudis

Needle grass

Family: Poaceae

Origin: Australia

Needle Grass growing in an orchard paddock.
Seeds can be spread by water or livestock, or moving hay between paddocks. Likes to grow in full sun and can cope with harsh coastal environments.
Photo credit: Greg Hoskins

Regional Pest Management Plan (RPMP) status

  • Whole region — Progressive containment, council delivered
  • Hauraki Gulf Controlled Area Notice pest

View more about the RPMP statuses

General description

Erect, wiry, perennial tussock < 1.3 m tall. Shoots are slightly swollen at the base. Leaves are < 30 cm long, with green tops and silver undersides. Seed heads are large, drooping and purplish.

What you need to know

To help protect our environment:

  • You must not breed, distribute, release or sell needle grass within the Auckland region.
  • You must not plant needle grass within the Auckland region.

Auckland Council will manage needle grass at all sites where it is known to occur.

If you see needle grass anywhere in the Auckland region, please report it to Auckland Council at


Coastal areas, open woodlands, forest margins, grasslands.


Seeds dispersed by water, attachment to livestock and contamination of hay and machinery.

Impact on environment

Displaces native coastal plants and desirable pasture species.


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.

Needle Grass with seed heads.
A wiry tussock grass that can grow up to 1.3m tall. Leaves have green tops with silver underneath so can look striking when blowing in the wind.
Photo credit: Jackie Miles and Max Campbell