Tufted erect perennial grass with flowering stems to 1.5 m. Stem joints (nodes) have dense soft downy hairs. Soft hairy leaves to 45 cm long. Leaf-collar (ligule) consists of short hairs like an eyelash. Seedhead is a dense contracted cluster to 30 cm. Seeds brown at maturity with spreading white or golden hairs with long awn or bristle to 40 mm, strongly twice bent, the first part (column) covered in soft featherlike hairs.
|Former Scientific Name||
Tall hairy grass in many of its parts, including the nodes with dense downy hairs, and the featherlike hairs of the column of the bristle or awn. Dense flowerhead.
Perennial. Often found in rocky places. 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 Austrostipa semibarbata and A. mollis.