WINDMILL GRASS FACTS
Map is from The Atlas of Living Australia web site, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia License
Umbrella Grass, Star Grass
Windmill Grass is an annual or perennial, tufted grass, up to 40 cm tall, with flattened stems and coarse, straight, flat to folded leaves up to 15 cm long and 5 mm wide. Windmill-like flower-head of 5 - 10 spikes, 5 - 17 cm long, radiating from the end of a stalk. Spikelets are arranged along the spike, alternately in two rows; each spikelet consisting of two truncated florets (i.e. flat-topped) and an awn (5 - 15 mm long for the lower floret). Florets turn from green to purplish when mature and to black when ripe. Flowers from spring to autumn, but mainly in the summer.
There are several grasses with similar windmill-like flower-heads. Windmill-grass and Curly Windmill-grass tend to occur as individual tufted plants and have large flower-heads with many spikes and have awned florets, whereas Couch Grass (Cynodon dactylon) spreads along and through the ground by stolons and rhizomes (often forming mats), has up to 6 spikes only and its florets are awnless. Curly Windmill-grass (Enteropogon acicularis), unlike Windmill-grass, has narrow-lanceolate (spear-like) florets.
Occurs in most soil types but prefers red earths and grey clays.
Native to all mainland States of Australia but not found in the Northern Territory or tropical Queensland or tropical Western Australia
Height (m): 0.3 - 0.5
Spread (m): 0.2 - 0.5
Soil Texture: sand, loam, clay
Soil pH: acid soils, neutral soils, alkaliine soils
Frost Sensitivity: moderately sensitive
Minimum Rainfall (mm): 350
Flower Colour: brown
Flower Season: spring, summer
(source: SA State Flora Catalog)
|Common Name:||Windmill Grass|