Native Poaceae species

Scientific name: Bothriochloa macra, Microlaena stipoides, Echinopogon ovatus, Austrodanthonia sp.

Author: S.T.Blake, R.Brown, G.Forster

Common name: Red Grass/Red-leg Grass, Microlaena, Forest Hedgehog Grass, Wallaby Grasses

Family: Poaceae


Native poaceae species   


Find all the action in Tomah’s quest for an Aussie alternative to resource hungry traditional turf. Head for the Southern Hemisphere Woodland.

The species listed above plus a few other native grass species form the lawn in the accompanying photograph. This garden bed faces north and is on a slope so it dries out quickly. There is no irrigation system in this part of the Garden and no fertilisers have been applied though our fertile, basalt-derived, clay-rich soil does provide a greater advantage than cultivating on sandstone. 

The grass is mown ‘high’ to minimise evaporation and force roots deeper. Sometimes it is grown long for seed collection. When mown at such times much seed falls and germinates to enrich the sward. Like all grasses these plants do prefer water so they tend to die back in summer allowing weeds to invade. 

The turf team have been encouraging native herbs such as Dichondra, Viola and Hypericum species to take up residence providing the green component during the hot months.

Two years of drought have not helped this slope to look its best though it has survived with minimal resource input, providing a ground-cover in sympathy with our environment. The turf trials are on-going at the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden.