Espartillo Control Guide

Tussock of Espartillo, a weed in pastures and native grasslands 

Spread of Espartillo

  • Espartillo is spread by seed. Espartillo seeds readily stick to wool and clothing.
  • Seed can also be spread by slashing and mowing, as well as in mud on hooves, footwear and vehicles and machinery.
  • Seed may also be spread in moving water.

Physical removal

  • Slashing and mowing is not effective as it can spread the hard, resistant stem-seeds.


  • Burning will remove above ground espartillo. However the hard, resistant stem-seeds can survive and remain dormant, and the espartillo can re-generate after burning.


  • Espartillo seedlings are sensitive to cultivation, but once established are difficult to eradicate.
  • Where practicable, repeated cultivation and winter cropping can control espartillo.


  • Control in pasture is more difficult.
  • Avoid heavy and continuous grazing which degrades useful pasture grasses.
  • Lighter stocking rates together with rotational or strip grazing can help maintain pasture competitiveness and reduced the espartillo.

Chemical control

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