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close-up of mature flower spikelet, left, seeds, centre, and mature florets, right (Photo: Steve Hurst at USDA PLANTS Database)
Phleum pratense L.
Gramineae (South Australia)Poaceae (Queensland, New South Wales, the ACT, Victoria, Tasmania, Western Australia and the Northern Territory)
cat's tail, cat's tail grass, catstail, common Timothy, herd's grass, meadow cat's-tail, Timothy, Timothy grass, Timothy-grass
Native to north-western Africa (i.e. northern Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia), Europe, western and northern Asia (i.e. Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia and northern China) and the Indian Sub-continent (i.e. northern India and northern Pakistan).
Widely naturalised in southern Australia (i.e. in many parts of New South Wales, in the ACT, in eastern and southern Victoria, in Tasmania, in south-eastern South Australia and in the coastal districts of south-western Western Australia).
Naturalised overseas in southern Africa, New Zealand, USA, tropical Southern America, the Mascarenes and Hawaii.
Timothy grass (Phleum pratense) is regarded as an environmental weed in Victoria and as a minor environmental weed or "sleeper weed" in other temperate regions of southern Australia. This species is often planted as a pasture or fodder plant in cooler areas, or occasionally as a soil stabiliser, and prefers heavy soils in moist habitats. It has since spread from these deliberate plantings and invaded natural vegetation.
Timothy grass (Phleum pratense) is considered to pose a significant threat to dry coastal vegetation, dry sclerophyll forests and woodlands in Victoria. It also appears on some local and regional environmental weed lists in this state (e.g. in the Goulburn Broken Catchment and at Falls Creek). In southern New South Wales, Timothy grass (Phleum pratense) has become naturalised in sub-alpine and montane areas of Kosciuszko National Park. It also grows in damp areas in south-western Western Australia (e.g. along the Warren River).
This species is also recognised as invasive in the USA, where it has been found to reduce species richness, species diversity, and percentage cover in native fescue grasslands.
Fact sheets are available from Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI) service centres and our Customer Service Centre (telephone 13 25 23). Check our website at www.biosecurity.qld.gov.au to ensure you have the latest version of this fact sheet. The control methods referred to in this fact sheet should be used in accordance with the restrictions (federal and state legislation, and local government laws) directly or indirectly related to each control method. These restrictions may prevent the use of one or more of the methods referred to, depending on individual circumstances. While every care is taken to ensure the accuracy of this information, DEEDI does not invite reliance upon it, nor accept responsibility for any loss or damage caused by actions based on it.
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