Australian Native Grasses

Austrostipa species (Spear Grass)

Austrostipa species (Spear Grass)

Yesterday I went to a native grasses identification workshop organised by the Native Grasses Resource Group (NGRG) which is based at Mt. Barker in South Australia, about 20 minutes from Adelaide. The workshop was at Mount Pleasant. It was aimed at beginners, which I am, and I hope will give me a few skills to build on so that I can get a reasonable identification of the grasses on our property. Over the last five years I have seen the return of eight species of native grass. There are two more sessions next month. One will be with samples and books, the last out in the field.

The Spear Grasses are well named as the seeds penetrate socks and are quite sharp. They can be a problem with sheep. Apparently there are trials happening with getting stock onto paddocks with spear grass to eat them before seed is set. Being perennial grasses, they resprout when the conditions are right.

I like the plumes on these grasses. This one in the photo was taken last spring after good winter rains as can be seen by the barley grass in head, also. That paddock was mown twice. This year there hasn’t been the growth to warrant mowing.


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