Crested speargrass

Description

Common names

Crested speargrass, Spear grass, Crested Spear-grass.

Scientific names

Austrostipa blackii, Stipa species.

Family

Poaceae.

Genus

Austrostipa.

Growth height

Up to 1m.

Presence in Australia

Widespread and common throughout region.

This specie has been identified in the following Australian states: NSW, Vic, Tas, SA, WA.

Habitat

Temperate regions.

Habit

Generally coarsely tufted perennial grasses up to about 1m high. Leaves rough to touch. Seed with long awns and "corkscrew" twists.

Seed collection

Collect when hard, dark seeds part from heads easily. Monitor closely as mature seeds quickly shed.

Propagation

From one-year old seed. Store in cool dry place. Sow autumn or spring.

Wildlife

Good habitat. Moderate forage. Food for seed-eating birds, such as finches. Moths and butterflies attracted.

Ornamental

Very attractive ornamental for specimens, groundcovers, rockeries and under trees. Rejuvenate old plants by pruning severely, and watering afterwards to encourage growth.

Other

Sharp awns cause eye, wool and carcass contamination. Problems potentially overcome through managing grazing.