Plant of the month – Australian Basket Grass

Botanical Name: Oplismenus aemulus

Common Name: Australian Basket Grass or Wavy Beard Grass

Family: Poaceae


Oplismenus: From Greek meaning armed, referring to the bristle-like appendages on the spikelets.

aemulus: From Latin meaning allied, referring to the plants similarity to other species.

Habitat: Common in gullies, shaded forests and in damp areas on the forest floor. Provides habitat for insects, lizards and brown quails.

Soils: Sandy and clay soils in damp areas. Suppresses weeds and reduces erosion.

Habit: trailing perennial to 30cm high

Leaves: Covered with fine hairs, 4-18mm wide, slightly wavy. Can be mown like a lawn.

Flowering time: All year round.

Flowers: Bright red stigma and lower awn. Food source for the larvae of the Orange-streaked Ringlet and White-brand Grass-skipper butterflies.

Root system: stoloniferus, taking root along its nodes.

Range: Queensland, NSW and Victoria.Found all over The Hills Shire in damp understories of all plant communities.

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