Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide


Chrysopogon aciculatus
(golden false beardgrass)



Chrysopogon aciculatus (golden false beardgrass)


  • Last modified
  • 27 September 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Pest
  • Host Plant
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Chrysopogon aciculatus
  • Preferred Common Name
  • golden false beardgrass
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Monocotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • C. aciculatus is a widespread grass with nuisance value but limited capacity for widespread invasion. It is listed as a noxious weed in Florida, USA (
  • There are no pictures available for this datasheet

    If you can supply pictures for this datasheet please contact:

    CAB International
    OX10 8DE
  • Distribution map More information

Don't need the entire report?

Generate a print friendly version containing only the sections you need.

Generate report


Top of page

Preferred Scientific Name

  • Chrysopogon aciculatus (Retz.) Trin.

Preferred Common Name

  • golden false beardgrass

Other Scientific Names

  • Andropogon aciculata Retz.
  • Rhaphis aciculatus (Retz.) Honda

International Common Names

  • English: lovegrass

Local Common Names

  • Malaysia: rumput jarum; temuchut
  • Philippines: tinloi

EPPO code

  • CYSAC (Chrysopogon aciculatus)

Summary of Invasiveness

Top of page C. aciculatus is a widespread grass with nuisance value but limited capacity for widespread invasion. It is listed as a noxious weed in Florida, USA (USDA-ARS, 2003).

Taxonomic Tree

Top of page
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Monocotyledonae
  •                     Order: Cyperales
  •                         Family: Poaceae
  •                             Genus: Chrysopogon
  •                                 Species: Chrysopogon aciculatus


Top of page C. aciculatus is a rhizomatous or stoloniferous, spreading perennial. Culm often erect, 15-25 cm tall, geniculate, branching; always rooting at the nodes. Leaves 3-15 cm long, 2-6 mm wide (15 to 20 times as long as wide), linear, often hairy at mouth only. Ligule membranous and truncate. Inflorescence a panicle, 5-10 cm long, 2.5 cm wide, composed of several whorls of short reddish branches which gradually spread horizontally when ripe. Each branch bearing at its end a group of three spikelets. Branch axis jointed below the spikelet group. Spikelets ternate and similar: one sessile hermaphrodite aproximately 4 mm long with a hairy oblique callus; two pedicelled, male or neuter. Glumes: G1 2-4 mm long, 3- to 2-nerved; G2 2-4 mm long, 3-nerved with 1.5- to 2-mm-long awn. Lemmas: L1 2-3 mm long, hyaline; L2 hyaline, 1-nerved, awned, awn 2.5-8 mm long, straight. Caryopsis oblong, 2 mm long.


Top of page Häfliger and Scholz (1980) list Chrysopogon aciculatus as being present in Central and Western Africa, the Indian subcontinent, the South-East Asian subcontinent, China, Philippines, Indonesia, Australia and the Pacific Islands. It is native to South-East Asia, Australia and Fiji (USDA-ARS, 2003) and probably native elsewhere in the Pacific and an early introduction on other islands.

Distribution Table

Top of page

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.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes


BangladeshRestricted distributionHolm et al., 1979; EPPO, 2014
CambodiaRestricted distributionHolm et al., 1979; EPPO, 2014
ChinaRestricted distributionHolm et al., 1979; EPPO, 2014
-HainanPresentNativeBai, 1994
-Hong KongRestricted distributionHolm et al., 1979; EPPO, 2014
IndiaRestricted distributionHolm et al., 1979; EPPO, 2014
-AssamPresentBarthakur et al., 1989
-KarnatakaPresentBanerjee, 1985
-OdishaPresentMisra and Misra, 1981
-Uttar PradeshPresentBhandari et al., 1998
IndonesiaRestricted distributionHolm et al., 1979; EPPO, 2014
-KalimantanPresentSeavoy, 1975
MalaysiaRestricted distributionHolm et al., 1979; EPPO, 2014
MyanmarRestricted distributionHolm et al., 1979; EPPO, 2014
NepalPresentLehmkuhl, 1992
PhilippinesRestricted distributionHolm et al., 1979; Pancho and Obien, 1983; Penafiel, 1988; EPPO, 2014
Sri LankaRestricted distributionHolm et al., 1979; EPPO, 2014
TaiwanRestricted distributionHolm et al., 1979; EPPO, 2014
ThailandRestricted distributionHolm et al., 1979; EPPO, 2014
VietnamRestricted distributionHolm et al., 1979; EPPO, 2014


NigeriaPresentIntroducedStanfield, 1970
UgandaPresentIntroducedClayton and Renvoize, 1982

North America

USARestricted distributionEPPO, 2014
-HawaiiPresentHolm et al., 1979; Mueller-Dombois, 1981; EPPO, 2014


American SamoaPresentNativeSpace and Flynn, 2000
AustraliaRestricted distributionHolm et al., 1979; EPPO, 2014
Cook IslandsPresentNative
FijiRestricted distributionHolm et al., 1979; Partridge, 1986; EPPO, 2014
French PolynesiaPresentNativeWelsh, 1998
GuamPresentNativeFosberg et al., 1987
Marshall IslandsPresentNativeFosberg et al., 1987
Micronesia, Federated states ofPresentNativeFosberg et al., 1987
NauruPresentNativeFosberg et al., 1987
New CaledoniaPresentNativeSwarbrick, 1997
NiuePresentNativeSykes, 1970
Northern Mariana IslandsPresentNativeFosberg et al., 1987
PalauPresentNativeSpace et al., 2003
Papua New GuineaPresentRoom, 1975
Solomon IslandsPresentNativeSwarbrick, 1997
TongaPresentNativeYuncker, 1959
VanuatuPresentNativeSwarbrick, 1997
Wallis and Futuna IslandsPresentNativeWhistler, 1988


Top of page C. aciculatus is a tropical grassland species. Lehmkuhl (1992) noted that it dominated grazed pasture based on a study in lowland Nepal. It occurs throughout the Philippines in open grasslands (Pancho and Obien, 1983). It is an exotic in Nigeria where it is well established as a lawn grass (Stanfield, 1970).

Habitat List

Top of page
Terrestrial – ManagedCultivated / agricultural land Present, no further details
Managed forests, plantations and orchards Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Managed grasslands (grazing systems) Present, no further details
Disturbed areas Present, no further details
Rail / roadsides Present, no further details
Urban / peri-urban areas Present, no further details

Hosts/Species Affected

Top of page C. aciculatus is recorded as a weed species from tea fields in Assam, India (Barthakur et al., 1989), rubber plantations in Malaysia (Wycherley and Ahmad Azli bin Mohd, 1974) and from tobacco farms in the Philippines (Pancho and Obien, 1983).

Biology and Ecology

Top of page In a study of vegetation dynamics, Mueller-Dombois (1981) recorded C. aciculatus from tropical grasslands with mediterranean seasonal rainfall on leeward Hawaii. Wycherley and Ahmad Azli bin Mohd (1974) describe it as prefering rather dry, open conditions although it can also persist in turf for a long time. It proliferates under heavy grazing regimes (Robertson and Humphrys, 1976; Partridge, 1986). Grasslands in Kalimantan, Indonesia, probably originated through shifting cultivation of forest land and subsequent burning. Cattle grazing on these grasslands resulted in the replacement of Imperata cylindrica by Axonopus compressus and C. aciculatus if sufficiently intensive (Seavoy, 1975).

Plant Trade

Top of page
Plant parts liable to carry the pest in trade/transportPest stagesBorne internallyBorne externallyVisibility of pest or symptoms
Flowers/Inflorescences/Cones/Calyx flowers; seeds
Growing medium accompanying plants seeds
Roots roots
Seedlings/Micropropagated plants whole plants
True seeds (inc. grain) seeds
Plant parts not known to carry the pest in trade/transport
Fruits (inc. pods)
Stems (above ground)/Shoots/Trunks/Branches

Impact Summary

Top of page
Animal/plant collections None
Animal/plant products None
Biodiversity (generally) None
Crop production Negative
Environment (generally) Negative
Fisheries / aquaculture None
Forestry production None
Human health Negative
Livestock production Negative
Native fauna Negative
Native flora Negative
Rare/protected species None
Tourism None
Trade/international relations None
Transport/travel None

Threatened Species

Top of page
Threatened SpeciesConservation StatusWhere ThreatenedMechanismReferencesNotes
Schiedea spergulina var. leiopodaNational list(s) National list(s); USA ESA listing as endangered species USA ESA listing as endangered speciesHawaiiCompetition - monopolizing resourcesUS Fish and Wildlife Service, 2010

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Tolerates, or benefits from, cultivation, browsing pressure, mutilation, fire etc
Impact outcomes
  • Negatively impacts agriculture
Impact mechanisms
  • Competition - monopolizing resources
  • Produces spines, thorns or burrs
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally accidentally


Top of page C. aciculatus has been used for erosion control, lawns, forage and medicines (USDA-ARS, 2003).

Prevention and Control

Top of page

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.

Cultural Control

Mueller-Dumbois (1981) noted the reduction in this species during a study in Hawaii where the grassland was protected from grazing goats.


Top of page

Bai CJ, 1994. Exploitation and utilization of wild sods. Pratacultural Science, 11(2):34-36.

Banerjee BC, 1985. On the occurrence of some grasses in Coorg district of Karnataka state. Journal of Economic and Taxonomic Botany, 7(2):479-480.

Barnes DE, Chandapillai MM, 1975. Common Malaysian Weeds and their Control. Malaysia: Shah Alam, Ancom.

Barthakur BK, Dutta P, Begum R, 1989. Vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhiza (VAM) is some weed species of tea fields. Two and a Bud, 36(1-2):8-9

Bhandari BS, Mehta JP, Tiwari SC, 1998. Impact of grazing and burning on growth, reproductive performance and crude protein content of some forage grasses in a submontane grazingland of Garhwal Himalaya. Range Management and Agroforestry, 19(1):1-12.

Chandrasena JPNR, Perera DN, 1987. The allelopathic potential of torpedograss (Panicum repens L.). Proceedings, 11th Asian Pacific Weed Science Society Conference Taipei, Taiwan; Asian Pacific Weed Science Society, No. 2:581-592

Clayton WD, Renvoize SA, 1982. Gramineae (Part 3). In: Polhill RM, ed. Flora of Tropical East Africa. Rotterdam, Netherlands: Balkema.

Datta SC, Bandyopadhyay AK, 1981. Allelopathic influences of three weeds on two crop plants. Proceedings of the Eighth Asian-Pacific Weed Science Society Conference., 391-399

EPPO, 2014. PQR database. Paris, France: European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization.

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

Holm L, Pancho JV, Herberger JP, Plucknett DL, 1979. A Geographical Atlas of World Weeds. Toronto, Canada: John Wiley and Sons Inc.

Häfliger E, Scholz H, 1980. Grass Weeds 1: Weeds of the subfamily Panicoideae. Basle, Switzerland: Documenta CIBA GEIGY.

Ismail BS, Mah LS, 1993. Effects of Mikania micrantha H.B.K. on germination and growth of weed species. Plant and Soil, 157(1):107-113

Johnson SJ, Valentine PS, Lane DA, 1994. Notes on life histories and biology of the species of Neohesperilla Waterhouse and Lyell (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae). Australian Entomologist, 21(2):55-59

Lehmkuhl JF, 1992. Above-ground production and response to defoliation on a native pasture in lowland Nepal. Tropical Grasslands, 26(2): 82-88.

Misra MK, Misra BN, 1981. Seasonal changes in leaf area index and chlorophyll in an Indian grassland. Journal of Ecology, 69(3):797-805.

Mueller-Dombois D, 1981. Vegetation dynamics in a coastal grassland of Hawaii. In: Poissonet P, et al., eds. Vegetation dynamics in grasslands, heathlands and mediterranean ligneous formations. Netherlands: Dr. W. Junk, 131-140.

Pancho JV, Obien SR, 1983. Manual of Weeds of Tobacco farms in the Philippines. Batac, Ilocos Norte, Philippines: Philippines Tobacco Research and Training Center, Mariano Marcos State University.

Partridge IJ, 1986. Effect of stocking rate and superphosphate level on an oversown fire climax grassland of mission grass (Pennisetum polystachyon) in Fiji. I. Botanical composition of pasture. Tropical Grasslands, 20(4):166-173; 12 ref.

Penafiel SR, 1988. Effects of three pasture plant extracts on germination of Benguet pine (Pinus kesiya Royle ex Gordon). Malaysian Forester 49(1-2):181-184.

Robertson AD, Humphreys LR, 1976. Effects of frequency of heavy grazing and of phosphorus supply on an Arundinaria ciliata association oversown with Stylosanthes humilis. Thai Journal of Agricultural Science, 9(3):181-188.

Room PM, 1975. Diversity and organization of the ground foraging ant faunas of forest, grassland and tree crops in Papua New Guinea. Australian Journal of Zoology, 23(1):71-89

Seavoy RE, 1975. The origin of tropical grasslands in Kalimantan, Indonesia. Journal of Tropical Geography, 40:48-52.

Space JC, Flynn T, 2000. Observations on invasive plant species in American Samoa. USDA Forest Service, Honolulu, 51.

Space JC, Waterhouse BM, Miles JE, Tiobech J, Rengulbai K, 2003. Report to the Republic of Palau on invasive plant species of environmental concern. Honolulu, USA: USDA Forest Service.

Stanfield DP, 1970. The Flora of Nigeria Grasses. Ibadan, Nigeria: Ibadan University Press.

Swarbrick JT, 1997. Weeds of the Pacific Islands. Technical paper No. 209. Noumea, New Caledonia: South Pacific Commission.

Sykes WR, 1970. Contributions to the flora of Niue. New Zealand Department of Scientific and Industrial Research Bulletin 200. p. 238.

US Fish and Wildlife Service, 2010. In: Schiedea spergulina var. leiopoda (no common name). 5-Year Review: Summary and Evaluation. US Fish and Wildlife Service, 11 pp.

USDA-ARS, 2003. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database. Beltsville, Maryland, USA: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory.

Welsh SL, 1998. Flora Societensis: A summary revision of the flowering plants of the Society Islands. Orem, Utah, USA: E.P.S. Inc.

Whistler WA, 1988. Checklist of the weed flora of Western Polynesia. An annotated list of the weed species of Samoa, Tonga, Niue, and Wallis and Futuna, along with the earliest dates of collection and the local names. Technical Paper, South Pacific Commission, No. 194:69 pp.

Wycherley PR, Ahmad Azli bin Mohd Y, 1974. Grasses in Malayan Plantations. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Rubber Research Institute of Malaysia.

Yuncker TG, 1959. Plants of Tonga. B.P. Bishop Museum Bull., 220:165.

Distribution Maps

Top of page
You can pan and zoom the map
Save map