Nassella trichotoma

Nassella tussock

Family: Poaceae

Origin: South America

Field of Nasella Tussock.
Very hardy plant that can grow in many conditions. Produces many seeds that are spread by wind.

Regional Pest Management Plan (RPMP) status

  • Whole region — Eradication
  • National Pest Plant Accord Species

View more about the RPMP statuses

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.

Impact on environment

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

Close up of Nassella Tussock leaf structure with red indicator circle.
This tussock must be reported to Auckland Council who will manage its control. This plant can be very harmful to our agricultural industry.
Nasella Tussock seed heads.
Perennial grass that grows up to 1m tall. Produces many purple sees heads that make the stems bend over and droop.
Nassella Tussock showing flower heads.
This tussock is not eaten by stock and can then take over paddocks. Seeds can catch in livestock pelts and be spread across a farm.