Austrostipa aristiglumis – Plump Spear Grass

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Plump Spear Grass is a warm season native perennial grass that will grow in tufts up to 2m tall.  You will commonly find it growing in patches on heavy clay soils. It does however do quite well on soils with good moisture and high fertility, and neutral to alkaline soils. The Slopes form the eastern edge of its distribution within New South Wales and Victoria becoming more common on the plains. Plump Spear Grass is particularly frost sensitive but drought tolerant. Common on heavy clay soils, it prefers good moisture, high fertility, and acidic to alkaline soils

Plump Spear Grass will often be a dominant species with different varieties of Wallaby grasses and Kangaroo grass in temperate grasslands but are largely absent in northern grasslands. These natural temperate grasslands often occur on heavy clay soils in areas with low annual rainfall (<400mm).

There are many species of Austrostipa, each of which has different characteristics, but all are well known as having high tolerance to drought, poor soils and high temperatures.  They grow in association with dry eucalypt forest, woodlands, shrublands, in low open forests, grasslands and along coastlines. These grasses often occur in shallow soils of low fertility in areas of high summer temperatures. They are able to survive and remain green even under dry, hot summer conditions. Plains grass is very similar to other tall Austrostipa spp. in its appearance.

Photo credit: Harry Rose (Flikr CC BY 2.0)

  • Heat tolerant
  • High drought resistance
  • tolerant to acidic to alkaline soils
  • Frost tolerant
  • Low fertility tolerant


With Irrigation – All year round

Without irrigation –  Sow from autumn to spring coinciding with rain.

For our straightforward guide on how to sow native grass seeds check out our

Recommended Sow Guideline

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