Feature Plant

Weeping Grass (Microlaena stipoides)

 

Weeping Grass (Microlaena stipoides) is a native grass which is often mistaken as a weed grass species such as Couch or Kikuyu. This spreading perennial is most active during winter. It is characterised by low growing tufts to 20cm high with a rhizome. The leaf-steath is tightly wrapped around the stem, and leaves have an ear-like extension (auricle) where the leaf-blade and leaf-sheath meet. Weeping Grass has a long flowering stem up to approximately 1m in length with a drooping inflorescence which produces a grain similar to wild rice, hence it is also known as Meadow Rice Grass. The flowering period is from August to December. Weeping Grass grows in shade or part shade and is a common understorey species found along creeks, where it forms a natural lawn, or as a bushland understorey species. It grows throughout the South-West extending from Dongara in the north to Albany and along the south coast to Esperance. Weeping Grass has been investigated as a native, perennial seed-bearing crop species because of its large seeds. It is also a valuable native pasture grass.

 

  Weeping Grass

Photo: Shire of Mundaring's  Landscape and Revegetation Guidelines