Grains Research and Development

Feathertop Rhodes grass

Feathertop Rhodes grass  (Chloris virgata)


Feathertop Rhodes grass infesting
sorghum crop
(Photo V. Osten)

Feathertop Rhodes grass (Chloris virgata) is a tufted annual grass up to 1 m tall with erect and semi-prostrate branched stems capable of rooting at the joints. Leaf blades are bluish green, 5 to 25 cm long and 3 to 6 mm wide. The seed-heads or panicles have seven to 19 feathery, white-silver spikes that are 3 to 9 mm long. The feathery appearance comes from the stiff white hairs and awns arising from the seeds.

Factors that make Feathertop Rhodes grass a major weed:

  • Feathertop Rhodes grass has displayed tolerance to glyphosate
  • Seeds readily germinate unless buried

Further detail about this weed including integrated weed management tactics that could be considered when developing a management plan can be found in the section on problem weeds in the new Integrated Weed Management Manual.

Further information

Ecology and biology of common weeds are outlined on page 18 of section 6 of the Integrated Weed Management Manual.

GRDC fact sheets and other publications

Youtube video GCTV19: Feathertop Rhodes Grass. Important weed management recommendations. (2016)

Feathertop Rhodes grass integrated weed management manual (2014)

Feathertop Rhodes grass factsheet  (2013)

Update papers

Status of key summer fallow weeds in the Riverina: An update (2016)

Getting on top of feathertop Rhodes grass: an increasing weed in the central west of New South Wales (2016)

Get the first second and third punch in on feathertop Rhodes grass (2015)

Weeds and resistance considerations for awnless barnyard grass chloris and fleabane (2014)

Weeds and resistance considerations for awnless barnyard grass, Chloris spp and fleabane management (2013)

GRDC videos

Ecology and management of feathertop Rhodes grass - GRDC YouTube webinar - presenter: Mark Congreve, ICAN. Feathertop Rhodes grass has emerged as a major weed of zero till cropping in the northern region. It is well adapted to current farming practices and when this is coupled with tolerance to glyphosate it can rapidly become a major problem in some fields.

Double knock applications - target weed species & application strategy - Michael Widderick, DAF Qld weed specialist on the principle behind the 'double knock' for controlling summer weeds such as feathertop Rhodes grass, barnyard grass and flaxleaf fleabane.

Other information

Managing feathertop Rhodes grass, A best weed management guide (DAF Qld)