Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Chloris virgata
(feather finger grass)

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Datasheet

Chloris virgata (feather finger grass)

Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Chloris virgata (feather finger grass); seeding habit. Honokanaia, Kahoolawe, Hawaii, USA. February 2008.
TitleHabit
CaptionChloris virgata (feather finger grass); seeding habit. Honokanaia, Kahoolawe, Hawaii, USA. February 2008.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr-2008 - CC BY 4.0
Chloris virgata (feather finger grass); seeding habit. Honokanaia, Kahoolawe, Hawaii, USA. February 2008.
HabitChloris virgata (feather finger grass); seeding habit. Honokanaia, Kahoolawe, Hawaii, USA. February 2008.©Forest & Kim Starr-2008 - CC BY 4.0
Chloris virgata (feather finger grass); seeding habit. Honokanaia, Kahoolawe, Hawaii, USA. February 2008.
TitleHabit
CaptionChloris virgata (feather finger grass); seeding habit. Honokanaia, Kahoolawe, Hawaii, USA. February 2008.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr-2008 - CC BY 4.0
Chloris virgata (feather finger grass); seeding habit. Honokanaia, Kahoolawe, Hawaii, USA. February 2008.
HabitChloris virgata (feather finger grass); seeding habit. Honokanaia, Kahoolawe, Hawaii, USA. February 2008.©Forest & Kim Starr-2008 - CC BY 4.0
Chloris virgata (feather finger grass); seedheads. Honokanaia, Kahoolawe, Hawaii, USA. February 2008.
TitleSeedheads
CaptionChloris virgata (feather finger grass); seedheads. Honokanaia, Kahoolawe, Hawaii, USA. February 2008.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr-2008 - CC BY 4.0
Chloris virgata (feather finger grass); seedheads. Honokanaia, Kahoolawe, Hawaii, USA. February 2008.
SeedheadsChloris virgata (feather finger grass); seedheads. Honokanaia, Kahoolawe, Hawaii, USA. February 2008.©Forest & Kim Starr-2008 - CC BY 4.0
Chloris virgata (feather finger grass); close-up of inflorescense. Puu Pehe, Lanai, Hawaii, USA. April 2006.
TitleInflorescense
CaptionChloris virgata (feather finger grass); close-up of inflorescense. Puu Pehe, Lanai, Hawaii, USA. April 2006.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr-2006 - CC BY 4.0
Chloris virgata (feather finger grass); close-up of inflorescense. Puu Pehe, Lanai, Hawaii, USA. April 2006.
InflorescenseChloris virgata (feather finger grass); close-up of inflorescense. Puu Pehe, Lanai, Hawaii, USA. April 2006.©Forest & Kim Starr-2006 - CC BY 4.0

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Chloris virgata Sw.

Preferred Common Name

  • feather finger grass

Other Scientific Names

  • Agrostomia barbata Cerv.
  • Chloris alba J.Presl
  • Chloris alba var. aristulata Torr.
  • Chloris albertii Regel
  • Chloris barbata var. decora (Steud.) Benth.
  • Chloris barbata var. meccana (Hochst. ex Steud.) Asch. and Schweinf.
  • Chloris caudata Trin.
  • Chloris compressa DC.
  • Chloris decora Nees ex Steud.
  • Chloris elegans Kunth
  • Chloris gabrielae Domin
  • Chloris madagascariensis Steud.
  • Chloris meccana Hochst. ex Steud.
  • Chloris multiradiata Hochst.
  • Chloris notocoma Hochst.
  • Chloris penicillata Jan ex Trin.
  • Chloris polydactyla subsp. multiradiata (Hochst.) Chiov.
  • Chloris pubescens Lag.
  • Chloris rogeonii A.Chev.
  • Chloris tibestica Quézel

International Common Names

  • English: feather windmill grass; feathertop grass; feathery grass; old land grass; sweet grass
  • Spanish: barba de chivo; barbas de indio; cebadilla; pasto blanco ; verdillo plumerito; zacate mota; zacate pluma
  • Chinese: hu wei cao

Local Common Names

  • Australia: feathertop Rhodes grass
  • Cuba: barba de indio
  • Kenya: blackseed grass
  • Mexico: escobilla; paragüitas; pastito de la motita; zacate cola de zorra
  • South Africa: feather-top chloris
  • USA: feather fingergrass

Summary of Invasiveness

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Chloris virgata is a widespread and very variable weedy annual grass (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2015). This species is a particularly aggressive invader of bare areas and degraded or disturbed native vegetation, and it has the potential to out-compete native vegetation in these habitats (Smith, 2002; Oviedo Prieto et al., 2012; Weeds of Australia, 2015). This weedy grass spreads from cultivation, pastures, gardens, disturbed areas and roadsides to nearby disturbed forest, creeks and riversides, native grasslands and coastal habitats such as coastal forests and sand dunes (Weeds of Australia, 2015; FAO, 2015; PIER, 2015). It also grows as a weed in agricultural lands (Vibrans, 2009). Currently, this species is regarded as an invasive and environmental weed in northern Australia (i.e., Queensland and the Northern Territory; Weeds of Australia, 2015) and as an invasive grass in Cuba, Palau, New Caledonia, the Galapagos Islands, and Hawaii (Wagner et al., 1999; Charles Darwin Foundation, 2008; Oviedo Prieto et al., 2012; PIER, 2015). 

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Monocotyledonae
  •                     Order: Cyperales
  •                         Family: Poaceae
  •                             Genus: Chloris
  •                                 Species: Chloris virgata

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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Poaceae is a species-diverse family in the Angiosperms including 707 genera and over 11,000 species widely distributed in all regions of the world (Stevens, 2012). The subfamily Chloridoideae includes 130 genera and about 1721 species, most abundant in dry, tropical and subtropical regions. Almost all species within this subfamily have a C4 photosynthesis pathway. Chloris is a tropical to subtropical genus of 55-60 species. It is most abundant in the Southern Hemisphere. Species within this genus tolerate drought and saline conditions (Barkworth, 2003, Stevens, 2012). 

Description

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The following description is taken from Flora of China Editorial Committee (2015):

Annual grass, culms tufted, erect or geniculately ascending, slightly flattened, 15–100 cm tall. Basal leaf sheaths strongly keeled, glabrous; leaf blades flat or folded, 5–30 cm, 2–7 mm wide, glabrous, adaxial surface scabrous, apex acuminate; ligule 0.5–1 mm, glabrous or ciliate. Racemes digitate, 5–12, erect or slightly slanting, 2–10 cm, silky, pale brown or tinged pink or purple; rachis scabrous or hispid. Spikelets with 2 or 3 florets, 2-awned; lower glume 1.8–2.2 mm; upper glume 3–4 mm, acuminate; lemma of fertile floret obovate-lanceolate in side view, 2.8–3.5 mm, keel gibbous, conspicuously bearded on upper margins with a spreading tuft of 2.5–3.5 mm silky hairs, margins, keel and flanks silky-ciliate or glabrous; awn 5–15 mm; second floret sterile, oblong, glabrous, awn 4–10 mm; third floret occasionally present, reduced to a small clavate scale, awnless. 

Plant Type

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Annual
Grass / sedge
Seed propagated
Vegetatively propagated

Distribution

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C. virgata is a widespread species that grows in many habitats, from tropical to temperate areas with hot summers (Barkworth, 2003). The native distribution range of this grass species is still uncertain, however this datasheet follows the most widely accepted view among botanists that considers this species as native to the Americas, occurring naturally from the United States in North America to Argentina in South America, and introduced elsewhere (Barkworth, 2003; Zuloaga et al., 2008; Clayton et al., 2015). 

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Last updated: 25 Feb 2021
Continent/Country/Region Distribution Last Reported Origin First Reported Invasive Reference Notes

Africa

AlgeriaPresentIntroduced
AngolaPresentIntroduced
BotswanaPresentIntroduced
Burkina FasoPresentIntroduced
Cabo VerdePresentIntroduced
CameroonPresentIntroduced
Central African RepublicPresentIntroduced
ChadPresentIntroduced
EgyptPresentIntroduced
EritreaPresentIntroduced
EswatiniPresentIntroduced
EthiopiaPresentIntroduced
KenyaPresentIntroduced
LesothoPresentIntroduced
LibyaPresentIntroduced
MadagascarPresentIntroduced
MalawiPresentIntroduced
MaliPresentIntroduced
MauritaniaPresentIntroduced
MoroccoPresentIntroduced
MozambiquePresentIntroduced
NamibiaPresentIntroduced
NigerPresentProbably introduced
NigeriaPresentIntroduced
Saint HelenaPresentIntroduced
SeychellesPresentIntroduced
SomaliaPresentIntroduced
South AfricaPresentIntroduced
South SudanPresentIntroduced
TanzaniaPresentIntroduced
TogoPresentIntroduced
TunisiaPresentProbably introduced
UgandaPresentIntroduced
ZambiaPresentIntroduced
ZimbabwePresentIntroduced

Asia

AfghanistanPresentIntroduced
AzerbaijanPresentProbably introduced
BangladeshPresentIntroduced
BhutanPresentIntroduced
China
-GansuPresentIntroduced
-HebeiPresentIntroduced
-HeilongjiangPresentIntroduced
-HenanPresentIntroduced
-Inner MongoliaPresentIntroduced
-JiangsuPresentIntroduced
-JilinPresentIntroduced
-LiaoningPresentIntroduced
-NingxiaPresentIntroduced
-QinghaiPresentIntroduced
-ShandongPresentIntroduced
-ShanxiPresentIntroduced
-SichuanPresentIntroduced
-XinjiangPresentIntroduced
-YunnanPresentIntroduced
IndiaPresentIntroduced
-Andaman and Nicobar IslandsPresentIntroduced
-Arunachal PradeshPresentIntroduced
-BiharPresentIntroduced
-ChandigarhPresentIntroduced
-ChhattisgarhPresentIntroduced
-Dadra and Nagar HaveliPresentIntroduced
-Daman and DiuPresentIntroduced
-GoaPresentIntroduced
-GujaratPresentIntroduced
-HaryanaPresentIntroduced
-Jammu and KashmirPresentIntroduced
-JharkhandPresentIntroduced
-KarnatakaPresentIntroduced
-KeralaPresentIntroduced
-Madhya PradeshPresentIntroduced
-MaharashtraPresentIntroduced
-OdishaPresentIntroduced
-PuducherryPresentIntroduced
-PunjabPresentIntroduced
-RajasthanPresentIntroduced
-SikkimPresentIntroduced
-Tamil NaduPresentIntroduced
-Uttar PradeshPresentIntroduced
-West BengalPresentIntroduced
IndonesiaPresentIntroduced
IranPresentIntroduced
IraqPresentIntroduced
IsraelPresentIntroduced
JapanPresentIntroduced
KazakhstanPresentIntroduced
KyrgyzstanPresentProbably introduced
LebanonPresentIntroduced
MongoliaPresentIntroduced
MyanmarPresentIntroduced
NepalPresentIntroduced
North KoreaPresentIntroduced
OmanPresentIntroduced
PakistanPresentIntroduced
PalestinePresentIntroduced
Saudi ArabiaPresentIntroduced
South KoreaPresentIntroduced
TaiwanPresentProbably introduced
TurkmenistanPresentProbably introduced
UzbekistanPresentIntroduced
VietnamPresentIntroduced
YemenPresentIntroduced

Europe

BelgiumPresentIntroduced
CzechiaPresentIntroduced
FrancePresentIntroduced
Portugal
-MadeiraPresentIntroduced
Russia
-Russian Far EastPresentIntroducedAmur, Khabarovsk, Primorye
-Southern RussiaPresentIntroducedNorth Caucasus, Transcaucasus
SpainPresentIntroduced
-Canary IslandsPresentIntroducedNaturalizedNaturalized
United KingdomPresentIntroduced

North America

AnguillaPresentOrigin uncertain
Antigua and BarbudaPresentOrigin uncertain
ArubaPresentOrigin uncertain
BarbadosPresentOrigin uncertain
Bonaire, Saint Eustatius and Saba
-BonairePresentOrigin uncertain
Costa RicaPresent, Few occurrencesIntroduced2008Collected for first time in 2008 along a highway in San Jose
CubaPresentIntroducedInvasive
CuraçaoPresentOrigin uncertain
Dominican RepublicPresentOrigin uncertain
El SalvadorPresentNative
MartiniquePresentOrigin uncertain
MexicoPresentNativeAguascalientes, Baja California Norte, Baja California Sur, Campeche, Chiapas, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Colima, Distrito Federal, Durango, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Estado de México, Michoacán, Morelos, Oaxaca, Puebla, Querétaro, Quintana Roo, San Luís Potosí, Sinaloa, Sonora, Tabasco, Tamaulipas, Veracruz, Yucatán, Zacatecas
NicaraguaPresentNative
PanamaPresentNative
United States
-AlabamaPresentNative
-ArizonaPresentNative
-ArkansasPresentNative
-CaliforniaPresentNative
-ColoradoPresentNative
-FloridaPresentNative
-GeorgiaPresentNative
-HawaiiPresentIntroducedInvasive
-KansasPresentNative
-KentuckyPresentNative
-LouisianaPresentNative
-MainePresentNative
-MarylandPresentNative
-MassachusettsPresentNative
-MississippiPresentNative
-MissouriPresentNative
-NebraskaPresentNative
-NevadaPresentNative
-New MexicoPresentNative
-New YorkPresentNative
-North DakotaPresentNative
-OklahomaPresentNative
-South CarolinaPresentNative
-TexasPresentNative

Oceania

AustraliaPresent
-New South WalesPresentIntroducedInvasive
-Northern TerritoryPresentIntroducedInvasive
-QueenslandPresentIntroducedInvasive
-South AustraliaPresentIntroducedInvasive
-VictoriaPresentIntroducedInvasive
-Western AustraliaPresentIntroducedInvasive
French PolynesiaPresentIntroducedInvasive
NauruPresentIntroduced
New CaledoniaPresentIntroducedInvasive
Northern Mariana IslandsPresentIntroduced
PalauPresentIntroducedInvasive
Papua New GuineaPresentIntroduced
U.S. Minor Outlying IslandsPresentIntroducedInvasiveMidway Atoll
VanuatuPresentIntroduced

South America

ArgentinaPresentNativeBuenos Aires, Catamarca, Chaco, Córdoba, Corrientes, Distrito Federal, Entre Ríos, Jujuy, La Pampa, La Rioja, Mendoza, Río Negro, Salta, Sgo. del Estero, Santa Fe, San Juan, San Luis, Tucumán
BoliviaPresentNative
Brazil
-AlagoasPresentNative
-BahiaPresentNative
-CearaPresentNative
-MaranhaoPresentNative
-ParaibaPresentNative
-PernambucoPresentNative
-PiauiPresentNative
-Rio Grande do NortePresentNative
-SergipePresentNative
ChilePresentNativeBuenos Aires, Catamarca, Chaco, Córdoba, Corrientes, Distrito Federal, Entre Ríos, Jujuy, La Pampa, La Rioja, Mendoza, Río Negro, Salta, Sgo. del Estero, Santa Fe, San Juan, San Luis, Tucumán
ColombiaPresentNative
EcuadorPresentNative
-Galapagos IslandsPresentIntroducedInvasive
ParaguayPresentNativeBuenos Aires, Catamarca, Chaco, Córdoba, Corrientes, Distrito Federal, Entre Ríos, Jujuy, La Pampa, La Rioja, Mendoza, Río Negro, Salta, Sgo. del Estero, Santa Fe, San Juan, San Luis, Tucumán
PeruPresentNative
VenezuelaPresentNative

History of Introduction and Spread

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Because the native distribution range of C. virgata is still unclear, for many regions of the world where this species occurs it is not certain if it represents a natural occurrence or if it was introduced (i.e., human-assisted introduction). During the 1960s, this species was promoted in Africa (i.e., Kenya) and India as an optimal grass for reseeding denuded rangelands and highly disturbed areas in saline and alkaline soils (Bor, 1960; Bogdan and Pratt, 1967). 

Risk of Introduction

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The risk of further spread of C. virgata is very high. This grass is an aggressive invader with the capability to grow in a wide rage of climates and soil types. It is a prolific seed producer and seeds can be easily dispersed by wind and water and as a seed contaminant in hay and crop seeds (Weeds of Australia, 2015; FAO, 2015; PIER, 2015; USDA-ARS, 2015). 

Habitat

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C. virgata is a widespread and aggressive weed. In China, it has been described as a common weed on stony slopes, steppe, sandy riversides, roadsides, fields, plantations, and frequent on walls and roofs in areas from sea level to 3700 metres (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2015). In Hawaii, it can be found naturalized along roadsides, in dry pastures, and in open, mesic shrubland, at elevations from 0 to 410 m (Wagner et al., 1999). In the Galápagos Islands, it grows in arid lowlands (McMullen, 1999). In Australia, it grows in a variety of habitats, particularly disturbed areas and roadsides; also levee banks, creek lines, coastal areas, sand dunes and gardens (Smith, 2002; Weeds of Australia, 2015). Within its native distribution range in the USA and Mexico, this species also grows as a weed in ruderal areas, along roadsides, and in open and disturbed sites in grasslands, pastures, and rangelands (Barkworth, 2003; Vibrans, 2009). 

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial
Terrestrial ManagedCultivated / agricultural land Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial ManagedCultivated / agricultural land Present, no further details Natural
Terrestrial ManagedManaged grasslands (grazing systems) Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial ManagedManaged grasslands (grazing systems) Present, no further details Natural
Terrestrial ManagedManaged grasslands (grazing systems) Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Terrestrial ManagedDisturbed areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial ManagedDisturbed areas Present, no further details Natural
Terrestrial ManagedRail / roadsides Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial ManagedRail / roadsides Present, no further details Natural
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalNatural grasslands Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalNatural grasslands Present, no further details Natural
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalNatural grasslands Present, no further details Productive/non-natural
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalRiverbanks Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalRiverbanks Present, no further details Natural
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalScrub / shrublands Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalScrub / shrublands Present, no further details Natural
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalDeserts Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalDeserts Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalDeserts Present, no further details Natural
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalDeserts Present, no further details Natural
LittoralCoastal areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
LittoralCoastal areas Present, no further details Natural

Hosts/Species Affected

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C. virgata is a common weed in alfalfa (Medicago sativa) fields of the southwestern USA (Barkworth, 2003) and maize and sorghum plantations in Mexico (Vibrans, 2009). 

Host Plants and Other Plants Affected

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Plant nameFamilyContextReferences
Medicago sativa (lucerne)FabaceaeMain
    Sorghum bicolor (sorghum)PoaceaeMain
      Zea mays (maize)PoaceaeMain

        Growth Stages

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        Flowering stage, Fruiting stage, Post-harvest, Vegetative growing stage

        Biology and Ecology

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        Genetics

        The chromosome number reported for C. virgata varies from 2n = 14, 20, 26, 30, to 2n = 40 (Barkworth, 2003; Roodt and Spies, 2003; Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2015).

        Reproductive Biology

        C. virgata is primarily cross-pollinating, but it is also self-compatible. It is mostly wind-pollinated.

        Physiology and Phenology

        In Mexico, C. virgata has been recorded flowering throughout the year (Vibrans, 2009). In China, it produces flowers and fruits from June to October (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2015).

        Environmental Requirements

        C. virgata grows in arid, dry, and moist habitats from sea level to 2500 m in elevation with mean annual temperatures around 25-30°C (Vibrans, 2009). It is able to grow in dry areas with mean annual rainfall ranging from 500 mm to 750 mm, but it is also adapted to arid environments where the minimum rainfall is about 375 mm. It prefers heavy soils, but has a wide soil range including saline, alkaline, and dark clay soils (Weeds of Australia, 2015). 

        Air Temperature

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        Parameter Lower limit Upper limit
        Mean annual temperature (ºC) 20 30

        Rainfall

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        ParameterLower limitUpper limitDescription
        Dry season duration04number of consecutive months with <40 mm rainfall
        Mean annual rainfall3751500mm; lower/upper limits

        Rainfall Regime

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        Bimodal
        Uniform

        Soil Tolerances

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        Soil drainage

        • free

        Soil reaction

        • acid
        • neutral

        Soil texture

        • heavy
        • light
        • medium

        Special soil tolerances

        • saline

        Means of Movement and Dispersal

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        C. virgata spreads by seed and vegetatively by stolons. It produces abundant seeds that are easily transported by wind and water and as seed contaminants in hay and adhering to animal fur. Livestock movements can also spread seeds and stolons (FAO, 2015; PIER, 2015; USDA-ARS, 2015; Weeds of Australia, 2015). 

        Pathway Causes

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        CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
        Crop productionPotential seed contaminant Yes Yes USDA-ARS, 2015
        DisturbanceWeed on disturbed open areas Yes Yes Barkworth, 2003
        ForageForage, fodder, hay production Yes Yes USDA-ARS, 2015
        Habitat restoration and improvementHas been used for reseeding denuded rangeland Yes Yes FAO, 2015

        Pathway Vectors

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        VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
        Debris and waste associated with human activitiesStolons and seeds can be carried by wind, vehicles or by adhering to animal fur Yes Yes FAO, 2015
        Soil, sand and gravelSeed contaminants Yes Yes PIER, 2015
        WaterSeeds Yes Yes PIER, 2015
        WindSeeds Yes Yes PIER, 2015

        Impact Summary

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        CategoryImpact
        Cultural/amenity Positive and negative
        Economic/livelihood Positive and negative
        Environment (generally) Positive and negative

        Economic Impact

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        C. virgata is an aggressive weed of agricultural lands and gardens. It is a weed of alfalfa, maize and sorghum plantations in Mexico and the USA (Barkworth, 2003; Vibrans, 2009).

        Environmental Impact

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        C. virgata is considered a weed of agricultural areas and gardens, but it is also an aggressive environmental weed (Randall, 2012; PIER, 2015; USDA-ARS, 2015). It has escaped from cultivation, pastures, gardens, disturbed areas and roadsides to nearby creek lines, riverbanks, native grasslands, and coastal forests including sand dunes (Weeds of Australia, 2015). This species is a particularly aggressive invader of bare areas and degraded or disturbed native vegetation, and has the capability to out-compete native species in these habitats (Weeds of Australia, 2015).

        Risk and Impact Factors

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        Invasiveness
        • Proved invasive outside its native range
        • Has a broad native range
        • Abundant in its native range
        • Highly adaptable to different environments
        • Is a habitat generalist
        • Tolerates, or benefits from, cultivation, browsing pressure, mutilation, fire etc
        • Pioneering in disturbed areas
        • Highly mobile locally
        • Benefits from human association (i.e. it is a human commensal)
        • Fast growing
        • Has high reproductive potential
        • Gregarious
        • Reproduces asexually
        Impact outcomes
        • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
        • Modification of fire regime
        • Modification of hydrology
        • Modification of successional patterns
        • Monoculture formation
        • Negatively impacts agriculture
        • Reduced native biodiversity
        • Threat to/ loss of native species
        Impact mechanisms
        • Competition - monopolizing resources
        • Competition - shading
        • Competition - smothering
        • Herbivory/grazing/browsing
        • Rapid growth
        • Rooting
        Likelihood of entry/control
        • Highly likely to be transported internationally accidentally
        • Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately
        • Difficult to identify/detect as a commodity contaminant
        • Difficult to identify/detect in the field

        Uses

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        C. virgata is used as a revegetator, fodder, and forage grass (USDA-ARS, 2015). It is one of the first grasses to colonize bare ground, and has been used for reseeding denuded rangeland in Kenya and highly disturbed areas in arid and semiarid regions (Bogdan and Pratt, 1967; FAO, 2015). 

        Uses List

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        Animal feed, fodder, forage

        • Fodder/animal feed
        • Forage

        Environmental

        • Erosion control or dune stabilization
        • Soil conservation

        Medicinal, pharmaceutical

        • Traditional/folklore

        Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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        C. virgata can be easily confused with Rhodes grass (Chloris gayana) and purpletop Rhodes grass (Chloris inflata). Weeds of Australia (2015) lists the following differences between these species:

        • C. virgata has very feathery seed-heads that are initially greyish-green in colour and usually borne in a more upright position. Its flower spikelets of have two relatively large awns (5-15 mm long) and are hairy towards their tips.
        • C. gayana has seed-heads that are initially greenish-brown in colour and spreading or drooping in nature. Its flower spikelets have one small and one very small awn (both usually less than 6 mm long) and are not very hairy.
        • C. inflata has seed-heads that are initially purplish in colour and spreading or drooping in nature. Its flower spikelets have three relatively small awns (all less than 7 mm long) and are hairy towards their tips.

        Prevention and Control

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        Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.

        Chloris species are generally susceptible to herbicides such as atrazine and glyphosate. However, resistance to glyphosate and possibly other Group G/9 herbicides (EPSP synthase inhibitors) has appeared in C. virgata in Australia, first recorded in plants occurring on roadsides in 2015 (Heap, 2017).

        Even when mature, Chloris is readily controlled with the selective grass herbicide haloxyfop (Cook et al., 2005). 

        References

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        Acevedo-Rodríguez P, Strong MT, 2012. Catalogue of the Seed Plants of the West Indies. Smithsonian Contributions to Botany, 98:1192 pp. Washington DC, USA: Smithsonian Institution. http://botany.si.edu/Antilles/WestIndies/catalog.htm

        Barkworth ME, 2003. Chloris Sw. Flora of North America vol. 25 [ed. by Barkworth, M. E. \Capels, K. M. \Long, S. \Piep, M. B.]. http://herbarium.usu.edu/webmanual/

        Bogdan AV, Pratt DJ, 1967. Reseeding denuded pastoral land in Kenya., Republic of Kenya: Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry, 48 pp.

        Bor NL, 1960. The Grasses of Burma, Ceylon, India and Pakistan (Excluding Bambusae). Oxford, UK: Pergamon Press.

        Charles Darwin Foundation, 2008. Database inventory of introduced plant species in the rural and urban zones of Galapagos. Database inventory of introduced plant species in the rural and urban zones of Galapagos. Galapagos, Ecuador: Charles Darwin Foundation, unpaginated.

        Clayton WD, Govaerts R, Harman KT, Williamson H, Vorontsova M, 2015. World Checklist of Poaceae. Richmond, UK: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/

        Cook BG, Pengelly BC, Brown SD, Donnelly JL, Eagles DA, Franco MA, Hanson J, Partridge IJ, Peter M, Schultze-Kraft R, 2005. Tropical Forages: an interactive selection tool. Brisbane, Australia: CSIRO, DPI&F, CIAT, ILRI. http://www.tropicalforages.info/

        DAISIE, 2015. Delivering Alien Invasive Species Inventories for Europe. European Invasive Alien Species Gateway. www.europe-aliens.org/default.do

        FAO, 2015. Grassland species profiles. Rome, Italy: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. http://www.fao.org/ag/agp/AGPC/doc/Gbase/Default.htm

        Filgueiras TS, Valls JFM, 2015. Chloris in Lista de Espécies da Flora do Brasil (Chloris in the list of species of the flora of Brazil). http://floradobrasil.jbrj.gov.br/jabot/floradobrasil/FB20354

        Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2015. Flora of China. St. Louis, Missouri and Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden and Harvard University Herbaria. http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=2

        Florence J, Chevillotte H, Ollier C, Meyer J-Y, 2013. Base de données botaniques Nadeaud de l'Herbier de la Polynésie Française (PAP) (Botanical database of the Nadeaud Herbarium of French Polynesia). http://www.herbier-tahiti.pf

        Fosberg FR, Sachet M-H, Oliver R, 1987. A geographical checklist of the Micronesian monocotyledonae. Micronesia 20: 1-2, 19-129.

        Heap I, 2017. The International Survey of Herbicide Resistant Weeds. Online. www.weedscience.org

        Lobo Cabezas S, 2008. First record of Chloris virgata (Poaceae) in Costa Rica. (Primera documentación de Chloris virgata (Poaceae) en Costa Rica.) Brenesia, 69:71-72.

        MacKee HS, 1994. Catalogue of introduced and cultivated plants in New Caledonia. (Catalogue des plantes introduites et cultivées en Nouvelle-Calédonie.) Paris, France: Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, unpaginated.

        McMullen CK, 1999. Flowering plants of the Galápagos. Ithaca, New York, USA: Comstock Publisher Assoc., 370 pp.

        Oviedo Prieto R, Herrera Oliver P, Caluff MG, et al. , 2012. National list of invasive and potentially invasive plants in the Republic of Cuba - 2011. (Lista nacional de especies de plantas invasoras y potencialmente invasoras en la República de Cuba - 2011). Bissea: Boletín sobre Conservación de Plantas del Jardín Botánico Nacional de Cuba, 6(Special Issue 1):22-96.

        PIER, 2015. Pacific Islands Ecosystems at Risk. Honolulu, USA: HEAR, University of Hawaii. http://www.hear.org/pier/index.html

        Randall RP, 2012. A Global Compendium of Weeds. Perth, Australia: Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia, 1124 pp. http://www.cabi.org/isc/FullTextPDF/2013/20133109119.pdf

        Roodt R, Spies JJ, 2003. Chromosome studies in the grass subfamily Chloridoideae. I. Basic chromosome numbers. Taxon, 52(3):557-566.

        Smith NM, 2002. Weeds of the wet/dry tropics of Australia - a field guide., Australia: Environment Centre NT, Inc, 112 pp.

        Space JC, Lorence DH, LaRosa AM, 2009. Report to the Republic of Palau: 2008 update on Invasive Plant Species. Hilo, Hawaii, USA: USDA Forest Service, 227. http://www.sprep.org/att/irc/ecopies/countries/palau/48.pdf

        Stevens PF, 2012. Angiosperm Phylogeny Website. http://www.mobot.org/MOBOT/research/APweb/

        USDA-ARS, 2015. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database. Beltsville, Maryland, USA: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory. https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxon/taxonomysearch.aspx

        USDA-NRCS, 2015. The PLANTS Database. Baton Rouge, USA: National Plant Data Center. http://plants.usda.gov/

        Vibrans H, 2009. Ficha Informativa par la especie Chloris virgata. Malezas de Mexico ([English title not available]). http://www.conabio.gob.mx/malezasdemexico/2inicio/home-malezas-mexico.htm

        Villaseñor JL, Espinosa-Garcia FJ, 1998. Catálogo de malezas de México ([English title not available])., Mexico: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.

        Wagner WI, Herbst DR, Sohmer SH, 1999. Manual of the Flowering Plants of Hawaii, revised edition. Honolulu, Hawaii, USA: University of Hawaii Press.

        Weeds of Australia, 2015. Weeds of Australia, Biosecurity Queensland Edition. http://keyserver.lucidcentral.org/weeds/data/03030800-0b07-490a-8d04-0605030c0f01/media/Html/search.html?zoom_query=

        Zuloaga FO, Morrone O, Belgrano MJ, 2008. Catálogo de las Plantas Vasculares del Cono Sur: (Argentina, Sur de Brasil, Chile, Paraguay y Uruguay) ([English title not available])., USA: Missouri Botanical Garden Press, 3348 pp.

        Distribution References

        Acevedo-Rodríguez P, Strong M T, 2012. Catalogue of the Seed Plants of the West Indies. Washington, DC, USA: Smithsonian Institution. 1192 pp. http://botany.si.edu/Antilles/WestIndies/catalog.htm

        Charles Darwin Foundation, 2008. Database inventory of introduced plant species in the rural and urban zones of Galapagos. In: Database inventory of introduced plant species in the rural and urban zones of Galapagos, Galapagos, Ecuador: Charles Darwin Foundation. unpaginated.

        Clayton WD, Govaerts R, Harman KT, Williamson H, Vorontsova M, 2015. World Checklist of Poaceae., Richmond, UK: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/

        DAISIE, 2015. Delivering Alien Invasive Species Inventories for Europe. http://www.europe-aliens.org/

        Filgueiras TS, Valls JFM, 2015. Chloris in the list of species of the flora of Brazil. (Chloris in Lista de Espécies da Flora do Brasil)., http://floradobrasil.jbrj.gov.br/jabot/floradobrasil/FB20354

        Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2015. Flora of China., St. Louis, Missouri; Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden and Harvard University Herbaria. http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=2

        Florence J, Chevillotte H, Ollier C, Meyer J-Y, 2013. Botanical database of the Nadeaud Herbarium of French Polynesia. (Base de données botaniques Nadeaud de l'Herbier de la Polynésie Française (PAP))., http://www.herbier-tahiti.pf

        Fosberg FR, Sachet M-H, Oliver R, 1987. A geographical checklist of the Micronesian monocotyledonae. In: Micronesia, 20 1-2, 19-129.

        Lobo Cabezas S, 2008. First record of Chloris virgata (Poaceae) in Costa Rica. (Primera documentación de Chloris virgata (Poaceae) en Costa Rica). In: Brenesia, 69 71-72.

        MacKee H S, 1994. Catalogue des plantes introduites et cultivées en Nouvelle-Calédonie. Paris, France: Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle. unpaginated.

        Mills L, Leaman T M, Taghavi S M, Shackel L, Dominiak B C, Taylor P W J, Fegan M, Teakle D S, 2001. Leifsonia xyli-like bacteria are endophytes of grasses in eastern Australia. Australasian Plant Pathology. 30 (2), 145-151. DOI:10.1071/AP01003

        Oviedo Prieto R, Herrera Oliver P, Caluff M G, et al, 2012. National list of invasive and potentially invasive plants in the Republic of Cuba - 2011. (Lista nacional de especies de plantas invasoras y potencialmente invasoras en la República de Cuba - 2011). Bissea: Boletín sobre Conservación de Plantas del Jardín Botánico Nacional de Cuba. 6 (Special Issue No. 1), 22-96.

        PIER, 2015. Pacific Islands Ecosystems at Risk., Honolulu, USA: HEAR, University of Hawaii. http://www.hear.org/pier/index.html

        Space JC, Lorence DH, LaRosa AM, 2009. Report to the Republic of Palau: 2008 update on Invasive Plant Species., Hilo, Hawaii, USA: USDA Forest Service. 227. http://www.sprep.org/att/irc/ecopies/countries/palau/48.pdf

        USDA-ARS, 2015. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database. Beltsville, Maryland, USA: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory. https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxon/taxonomysimple.aspx

        USDA-NRCS, 2015. The PLANTS Database. Greensboro, North Carolina, USA: National Plant Data Team. https://plants.sc.egov.usda.gov

        Villaseñor JL, Espinosa-Garcia FJ, 1998. [English title not available]. (Catálogo de malezas de México)., Mexico: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.

        Wagner WI, Herbst DR, Sohmer SH, 1999. Manual of the Flowering Plants of Hawaii, revised edition., Honolulu, Hawaii, USA: University of Hawaii Press.

        Weeds of Australia, 2015. Weeds of Australia, Biosecurity Queensland Edition., http://keyserver.lucidcentral.org/weeds/data/03030800-0b07-490a-8d04-0605030c0f01/media/Html/search.html?zoom_query=

        Zuloaga FO, Morrone O, Belgrano MJ, 2008. [English title not available]. (Catálogo de las Plantas Vasculares del Cono Sur: (Argentina, Sur de Brasil, Chile, Paraguay y Uruguay))., USA: Missouri Botanical Garden Press. 3348 pp.

        Links to Websites

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        WebsiteURLComment
        FAO Grassland Species Profileshttp://www.fao.org/ag/Agp/agpc/doc/GBASE/Default.htm
        GISD/IASPMR: Invasive Alien Species Pathway Management Resource and DAISIE European Invasive Alien Species Gatewayhttps://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.m93f6Data source for updated system data added to species habitat list.
        Global register of Introduced and Invasive species (GRIIS)http://griis.org/Data source for updated system data added to species habitat list.
        Grass Manual on the Webhttp://herbarium.usu.edu/webmanual/

        Contributors

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        03/05/16 Original text by:

        Julissa Rojas-Sandoval, Department of Botany-Smithsonian NMNH, Washington DC, USA

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