Eragrostis leptostachya

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Eragrostis leptostachyaFamily: Poaceae
Genus: Eragrostis
Common names: Paddock Lovegrass
ALA reference

It is pleasing that this native species has made an appearance in one of the restoration areas. Several years ago it was common along the southern firetrail. However for the past 4 – 5 years the council contractors have regularly mowed this trail converting what was predominantly native grasses into a strip composed almost entirely of weed grasses.

One difficulty we bushcarers face is differentiating between this desirable native grass and the very common weed Eragrostis tenuifolia (Elastic Grass). Superficially they are quite similar although E. tenuilolia seems to rather coarser with thicker clumps than E. leptostachya. Both have little yellow bands around the pedicels, just below the flower spikelets, although there is a subtle difference between these bands. The most reliable way to differentiate between these species is to study the junctions of the inflorescences with the main stem and the junctions of the pedicels with the inflorescences. This may require a hand lens unless you have very good eyesight. In the case of E. tenuifolia these junctions have bunches of little hairs while E. leptostachya is glabrous. (December 2011)

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