Tufted low growing grass to 45 cm tall. Small flat or loosely folded pale green leaves. An umbrella-like flowerhead up to 30 cm wide, purple to black. The seedhead has 5-13 spikes radiating like blades of a windmill from the stem. The seeds have a distinct bristles or awns to 15 mm long.
When mature the entire seed head breaks away and tumbles along in the wind.
Annual or short-lived perennial. Sandy soils and clay loams. Typically found in well-watered sites in grasslands and woodlands, often as a dominant understorey species. Also disturbed places and drainage lines. A useful grass for soil conservation purposes. An important native pasture grass in some areas of Australia, but weedy in others.
Tracheophyta (Vascular Plants)
Magnoliopsida (Flowering Plants)
Source: Atlas of Living Australia
Very valuable warm-season grass. Can increase its dominance under moderate grazing regimes - young growth is grazed by livestock. Killed by severe frost.
Similar flowers to Curly Windmill-grass Enteropogon ramosus but the seed shape is different in the two closely related species.