Poaceae family


Plant Group




Grasses grow in tufts or tussocks, each plant a cluster of leafy shoots or tillers. Each leaf has a sheath and blade separated by a membranous or hairy ligule. Inflorescences may be racemes, spikes or panicles. Spikelets consist of a number of florets above two empty bracts, glumes. Each floret has a lemma and palea.

Image of Themeda triandra Image: Mike Bayly



Known as spear grass because mature seeds can penetrate the skin. Leaves are overlapping and hairy, ligule membranous. The inflorescence is a panicle of single stalked one-flowered spikelets which have a hard cylindrical lemma. The terminal awn twists and bends on drying and may be very long.


Erect, sparsely-tufted perennials to 1.5m, mostly basal leaves, flat and tapering to a fine point. The inflorescence is an open or dense terminal panicle with numerous and often densely overlapping one-flowered spikelets. An awn rises from the back of the lemma which is papery rather than transparent.


Perennial grasses, leaf blades flat or inrolled, ligules membranous. Inflorescences are panicles. Spikelets are laterally compressed, glumes are 1-3 nerved, lemma are mostly 5 nerved, keeled and unawned.