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Tall Windmill Grass

Chloris ventricosa


Chloris ventricosa is a native Australian, warm-season, perennial grass. Also commonly known as "durawigura" (D'harawal), "tall chloris" and "plump windmill grass", it is an erect, hairless grass to 1 metre tall, and with well-developed stolons (I know these as runners). No doubt this is what gives it the ability to be an excellent soil stabilizer. Flowerheads are digitate, with 3-5 straight to limp branches arranged in one plane. Flowering also occurs from late spring to autumn. Chloris ventricosa is a hardy species and is readily grazed by cattle during summer. Another smaller variety of windmill grass is Chloris truncata - Both species are very similar, and both make excellent fodder. PS: Thanks to Harry Rose, the Macleay Grass Man, for the information gathered. See the reference link for info and photos.


Spotted at Gold Creek Reservoir, which lies just to the west of Brisbane. Freshwater lake and dense native bushland vegetation of dry eucalypt forests and subtropical rainforests. This species grows on a wide variety of soils, but prefers heavier rather than sandier types. It is also tolerant of heat and drought conditions, but not overly fond of frost. Usually found in woodlands, native pastures and roadsides, this spotting was found growing on the earth dam wall (last photo). Exposed area with sunny aspect. Not seen at any other location around the lake.


This is spotting number 747 for me, so my beautiful and very nerdy aviation mates are delighted with this one. I even sent them a screenshot.

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Neil Ross
Neil Ross a year ago

Thanks, Robert. It was lazy of me to ask the question and I really should have done my own homework, but I do appreciate the information you've provided. I don't know a great deal about grasses and tend to treat all with suspicion, thinking they are weeds. I was delighted to spot this species, and will now make a point of spotting other natives.

Robert White
Robert White a year ago

Neil: No, sedges and bulrushes are not grasses. You are right, they are all in the order Poales, but are in different families. Grasses are in Poaceae, sedges are in Cyperaceae, and bulrushes are in Typhaceae. There are also rushes, which are in Juncaceae.

Neil Ross
Neil Ross a year ago

Thanks, Zlatan. This is one grass I know instantly by sight, and it's nice to know it's a native that has some use. It looked beautiful this particular day, in the gentle breeze and shifting light.

Zlatan Celebic
Zlatan Celebic a year ago

Good one Neil - lovely to see some members of this very interesting and rich, but often neglected family.

Neil Ross
Neil Ross a year ago

It's my pleasure, Robert. It was a good find. Are sedges and bulrush considered grasses? I know they belong to the same order, but I don't think the same family.

Robert White
Robert White a year ago

Hi Neil, thanks for contributing to my mission.

Neil Ross
Spotted by
Neil Ross

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Spotted on May 6, 2018
Submitted on May 12, 2019

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