27 July 2020

Common Thatching Grass – Dhahran Hills

Whilst walking in an area of Jebals in Dhahran I came across some Common Thatching Grass Hyparrhenia hirta an introduced, frequent perennial found on rocky ground or silt in the area. It grows up to 75 cm tall and has thick tufts at its base and loose racemes of delicate flowering spikes. It is considered useful for erosion control in some parts of the world and an invasive species in others. It is used over much of Africa for thatching. Hyparrhenia hirta is native to the Mediterranean Basin and to Africa, where it can be found in most countries except equatorial ones. It spread eastwards to the Middle East from Arabia to Pakistan, and westwards to Cape Verde. It was introduced as a potential pasture species in the Americas and in Australia in the 1950s where it has become a weed.