Natal red top is a well-known pioneer grass and plays an important role in stabilising disturbed soil and as palatable fodder. The plant is widely recognised as it is one of the most widespread and common grasses. It may be an annual, sometimes a short-lived perennial.
Sunlight creates a special effect in the massed inflorescences, putting on quite a show in the veld in season. The flowers fade from red to white as the plant matures (Van Wyk and Malan, 1997).