Slender Bamboo grass is a pretty grass, and is flowering beautifully in many sites on both red and black soil on the eastern Darling Downs at present. It is the smallest of the three local bamboo grasses, rarely reaching waist-height. Its large, delicate-looking pink-green flowerheads make a beautiful show in November.
Most species flower in spring, while some flower from late winter to early summer. Flowerheads vary between the species. Most have attractive feathery panicles that vary in length and breadth. The seeds are often sharp with long awns which are usually twisted. Many types of spear shaped grass seeds are known to cause problems to grazing animals, especially contamination of wool. Stock should be withdrawn while seeding occurs. Once established, patches become self-maintaining. The seeds are “self-planting” having awns (the little whiskers on their ends) which twist more or less according to the humidity, and, with a little help from the wind, make the seeds burrow into the ground.
Slender Bamboo grass is unlikely ever to be weedy, as it is a shallow-rooted grass, easy to uproot by hand. This grass grows in 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.
This grass is an adaptable plant which will grow on light soils and clay, and is hardy to frost and drought, and grows in full sun or dappled shade. Austrostipa spp. can grow on a wide range of soil types. They will grow on poor soils as well as on soils with high acidity. For example Rough Spear grass grows across many soil types while Foxtail Spear grass grows on all types as long as there is adequate drainage.
All the Austrostipa species are clumping grasses which make good wildlife habitat. Because of their beauty, they are all used by professional landscape gardeners. Slender Bamboo grass makes for very good wildlife habitat, and their seeds are appreciated by birds and insects.
- Heat tolerant
- High drought resistance
- Acid soil tolerant
- Frost tolerant
- Low fertility tolerant