Mission Grass – Pennisetum pedicellatum
Habit: Annual grass to 1m high. Fluffy cream to pale purple seed heads.
Spread: Wind, water, slashers, hay and machinery
Mission grass was originally introduced as a pasture species, but has become naturalised in a number of areas throughout the Kimberley. This photo was taken at Windjana Gorge. There is both a perennial and annual subspecies of mission grass. Infestations of this grass in the Northern Territory have been associated with changes to the fire regime. The dominant grass sward provides a more intensive fuel than native grass species and promotes damaging late dry season wildfires.
The prolific seeding habit of mission grass and the lightweight fluffy seeds produced has enabled this plant to continue to spread and invade new areas as assisted by wind, water and machinery.