Austrostipa mollis

Soft Spear-grass

Robust, erect tufted perennial grass.

Additional information

  • SynonymStipa mollis
  • FamilyPoaceae
  • StoreyLower storey
  • Sizeto 30 cm high, stems to 1.2 m high
  • Plant groupingGrasses, Rushes & Sedges
  • LeavesUsually hairless, weakly to strongly inrolled leaves to 30 cm x 4 mm.
  • Flower colourGreen or purple, becoming straw-coloured
  • Flowering timeSeptember to December
  • FlowersErect, dense flowerhead to 30 cm, florets single. Floral bract to 9 mm, pale or reddish brown, fine grained, flattened white to golden hairs except at top; bristle twice bent, 6-10 cm long, twisted column feathery, single row of hairs spiralling.
  • Bird attractingSeeds
  • Butterfly attractingNo
  • Frog habitatNo
  • Growing conditionsMoist to dry soils in forests and heathy woodlands. Frost and snow tolerant. Full sun, semi shade.
  • Garden useDrift through trees or use as accent plants in garden beds. Tip of florets can be sharp, penetrating skin of people, pets and stock.
  • Commercially availableIndigenous nursery
  • Conservation statusScattered occurrences within the Shire.
  • Related speciesSimilar to Austrostipa semibarbata which has shorter hairs covering the column and longer bracts at the base of each floret (20-27 mm long). Austrostipa densiflora has downy hairs on stem nodes, leaves and lower bracts of florets. The flowerhead is dense, floral bract has spreading white to golden hairs except at the top, the twisted column is feathery.
Photographer/s: 1 Richard Hartland © ; 2-4 Marilyn Bull ©

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