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  • An annual grass 10 to 45 cm tall

  • Introduced from southern Europe

  • Also known as 'wire grass'

  • Lives only long enough to produce seed

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North Africa Grass
(Ventenata dubia)

Quick Identification

  • Smooth stem reaches between 10 and 45 cm in height

  • A reddish-black node marks a distinct bend in the smooth,  blade-less stalk near the base

  • The awn (hair at the top of the seed) has a bend

North Africa grass out competes native grasses, taking over grasslands and roadsides.  Invaded sites have a 80 percent reduction in forage for livestock and wildlife.

Hand pulling can be effective if all plants are removed and bagged before seed drops.  Herbicide trials are underway and effective treatments are available for pasture land.

Leaves & Stems
The stem is wiry and branching. Hairless and smooth except for a dark node where the stalk bends near the base, the grass has no blades.

Shallow rhizomes anchor the plant even in poor soil giving the plant an advantage ecosystems effected by fire .

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Reproduction & Dispersal
Plants reproduce by seed which fall near the plant or are spread by birds, grazing animals, vehicles, machinery, and shoes.


Seeds have a bent awn and remain viable in the soil for up to 3 years. Each plant can produce between 3 and 50 seeds per plant.

Preferred Habitat
North Africa grass prefers shallow, rocky, clay-loam soils.

Interesting Facts
North Africa grass has several look a like species including cheat grass, oat grass, and a few oatgrasses.

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