Longhair Plume Grass
Grasslands are a characteristic feature of Australia’s inland and tropical north, however native grasses are also an important component of coastal landscapes. In these places they often occur as a transitional phase as vegetation recovers after fire, in areas with shallow soils or where drainage is poor or as the understorey layer beneath woodland trees and in patches within heaths.
In the Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub of Sydney, two species Dichelachne criniata and Themeda australis are the most common large grasses. Both are tussocking species, and form large perennial clumps with extensive underground root systems. They can survive fire and other disturbance, regenerating from their underground clumps. These tussocks are an important carbon store, that is equivalent to the truns of trees in Australian landscapes.
As such, tussock forming grasses are an important component of Australia’s carbon capture and mitigation efforts. One of the best ways to promote these types of grasses is with Aboriginal cultural burning. This management ethos favours frequent cool burns over destructive hot wildfires.
Longhair Plume Grass is widely distributed throughout the south Pacific region, with a predominant presence in coastal areas. It thrives in sandy soils with good drainage.
Longhair Plume Grass serves both ecological and aesthetic purposes. Its extensive clumping habit and fluffy seed heads make it an attractive addition to landscapes. Furthermore, it contributes to the replacement of weedy introduced grasses in areas like Centennial Parklands.
Where to Longhair Plume Grass in the Centennial Parklands
Longhair Plume Grass can be observed throughout Centennial Parklands, specifically along slopes, beneath trees, and in garden verges. Its distinctive fluffy seed heads provide a beautiful sight against the sun, adding to the park's scenic appeal from spring to early winter.