Tufted grass with flower stems to 90 cm tall. Stem joints (nodes) have dense velvety hairs. Leaves inrolled up to 30 cm long and mostly smooth and hairless. Short hairy leaf-collar (ligule). Open loose seedheads to 20 cm. Seeds are purplish or green, becoming straw-coloured then reddish brown to black on maturity, and covered with white to yellowish hairs.
|Former Scientific Name||
Lower leaf sheaths are purple-mauve. Hairy bristle or awn 60-110 mm long, bent twice.
Perennial. Dry woodland, heathland and grassland. Preferential grazing of other grasses can lead to flowering and seeding of Spear-grass and their long awns (bristles) can work their way into the skin, mouths and eyes of stock, and contaminate wool.
Tracheophyta (Vascular Plants)
Magnoliopsida (Flowering Plants)
Source: Atlas of Living Australia
Seed coloration and hairiness as well as the awns (bristles on seeds) are important identification features for Spear-grass species. A food source for seed-eating birds including finches. Also attracts moths and butterflies.
Similar to A. mollis. Larger specimens of A. oligostachya may resemble this closely related species.