palm grassPalm grass

Common name: Palm grass
Botanical name: Setaria palmifolia
Management category: Advisory

Originally from India. It was introduced into New Zealand for ornamental purposes and was recorded as naturalised in 1981.

Why is it a pest?

  • It has tough rhizomes and is long-lived and tolerant to a wide range of conditions.
  • Prevents the growth and establishment of native seedlings.
  • Spreads via rhizomes and seed, occasionally aided by water movement. Slower spread occurs from gardens and through dumped garden waste.

Where is it found?

Disturbed and open forest, shrubland, herbland, bareland, semi-epiphyte niches mainly in low-frost areas.

What does it look like?

  • Dense, palm like grass with a dense root mass and tough rhizomes with rounded stems.
  • Harsh hanging palm-like leaves are pleated and taper to a point.
  • Narrow seedheads with fuzzy, foxtail-like tips on long arching stems (December to March).

What are the rules?


The Bay of Plenty Regional Council does not enforce the control of advisory species. It is landowner/occupier responsibility to manage these pests. Council may provide advice on how to manage or control these species if required.

How do you get rid of it?

  • Dig-out small patches (all year) – dispose by incineration or at transfer station.
  • Foliar spray (spring to autumn).

Also an option to stem inject with herbicide


CAUTION: When using any herbicide or pesticide, PLEASE READ THE LABEL THOROUGHLY to ensure that all instructions and directions for the purchase, use and storage of the product, are followed and adhered to.

Read more on pest control advice, information and regulations.