Ehrharta calycina

Ehrharta calycina_purple veldtgrass_ JM Di Tomaso
Photo: Joseph DiTomaso

Synonyms: Aira capensis L.f., Ehrharta ascendens Schrad, E. auriculata Steud., E. geniculata (Thunb) Thunb., E. laxiflora Schrad., R. ovata Nees, E. paniculataSw.ex Poir, E. undulata Nees ex Trin., Melica festucoides Licht ex Trin., Melica geniculata Thunb., Trochera calycina (Sm. P. Beauv,)

Common names: purple veldtgrass; African veldtgrass; perennial veldt grass

Ehrharta calycina (purple veldtgrass) is a perennial grass (family Poaceae) found in disturbed grasslands, roadsides and coastal habitats in California’s south and central west regions. Purple veldtgrass is spreading very rapidly in the central coast region, where it invades dunes and shrublands. It was originally imported to California for use as a pasture grass and for erosion control. Purple veldtgrass displaces native vegetation and converts coastal scrub and chaparral communities to grasslands. It resprouts after fires and may increase fire frequency.

Cal-IPC Rating: High?

CDFA Rating: None?


Plant Assessment Form - Information gathered by Cal-IPC on the impacts, rate of spread, and distribution of invasive plants in California. Does not include management information.

Species ID Card

Invasive Species ID Card - To support field identification of early detection species, Cal-IPC has designed a set of Species ID cards that can be downloaded, printed double-sided, and trimmed to size.

Weed Management Notes

  • Management Notes - Information on management techniques and effectiveness from the University of California Cooperative Extension’s Weed Research & Information Center.

Cal-IPC Newsletter Articles

Cal-IPC Symposium Presentations

Presentations are linked where available. Where a presentation is not available, find more information by reading the abstract in the Cal-IPC Symposia Archive.

Other Ehrharta calycina Information

  • Bugwood - National database from the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health at the University of Georgia.
  • CalPhotos - Images of plants taken mostly in California.
  • Calflora - Distribution map and records of this species in California.
  • CalWeedMapper - Distribution map of this species in California with ability to determine regional priorities.
  • EDDMapS - Distribution of this species in North America.
  • Jepson Interchange - Information on this plant's taxonomy, biology, and distribution from UC Berkeley's Jepson Herbarium.
  • USDA PLANTS Database - Information on identification and distribution, with links to websites in individual states.
  • Additional photos

    Ehrharta calycina_florets_RonVanderhoff
    Ehrharta calycina (purple veldtgrass) florets. Photo: Ron Vanderhoff
    Ehrharta calycina_leaf base and stem_RonVanderhoff
    Ehrharta calycina (purple veldtgrass) leaf base and stem. Photo: Ron Vanderhoff
    Ehrharta calycina_infestation_copyright 2014_NealKramer
    Ehrharta calycina (purple veldtgrass) infestation. Photo: &#169 2014 Neal Kramer
    Ehrharta calycina_inflorescence_copyright 2014_NealKramer
    Ehrharta calycina (purple veldtgrass) inflorescence. Photo: &#169 2014 Neal Kramer