Windmill Grass

Description

Common names

Windmill Grass, Umbrella Grass, Star Grass, Blow-away Grass, Star Or Windmill Grass, Windmill-grass.

Scientific names

Chloris truncata.

Family

Poaceae.

Genus

Chloris.

Growth height

Up to 0.5m.

Presence in Australia

Widespread, throughout most areas of region.

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

Habitat

Many soil and community types. More common on red or black earths.

Habit

Erect, hairless perennial to 50cm high, forming dense low crown of small fibrous leaves. Sometimes with short, branched stolons, and distinctive flower spike, late winter to summer.

Site preference

Moderate drought tolerance. Low frost tolerance.

Characteristics

Relatively short-lived.

Seed collection

Early Jan to mid Mar. Monitor closely as mature seeds shed in 3-14 days.

Propagation

Store for 12 months before sowing due to after-ripening period, or overcome dormancy be removing structures enclosing seeds. Germinates at 15-350C. Suited to direct seeding into pots (2-3 per pot), and in the field. Germinates in 2-3 weeks.

Wildlife

Good habitat. Seed eaten by native birds, including finches. Cover for small reptiles. High forage value but does not appear to be readily grazed, unless young growth.

Ornamental

Resilient lawn grass, or spectacular ornamental. Plant in groups for best effect. Rejuvenate old plants by severe trimming or burning, and water afterwards to encourage growth.

Other

Forage value increases in response to grazing and raised fertility.