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Blady Grass

Imperata cylindrica

Description:

Imperata cylindrica, commonly known as "blady grass" in Australia, is a native grass species that belongs to the family Poaceae. This is a coarse, erect perennial grass, spreading vigorously from underground stems. Flowering stems are erect, and the dense, fluffy cylindrical spike-like flowerheads (7-20 cm long) are its most distinctive feature. It's a tough grass with sharp blade-like edges which can easily cut the skin. In fact, the leaf margins are finely toothed and are embedded with sharp silica crystals. In certain parts of the world, Imperata cylindrica is an invasive species, but it also has many positive uses too - thatch for roofing, ground cover and soil stabilization to prevent erosion, paper-making, thatching and weaving into mats and bags, stuffing for cushions, and is used in traditional Chinese medicine. Check this amazing reference out - https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinNa... It is also a butterfly host plant for the dingy darter, greenish darter, orange ringlet, evening brown, and even provides habitat for frogs. An interesting fact: The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by wind.

Habitat:

Spotted along the Federation Track at the Mt. Gravatt Conservation Reserve, only a few kilometres from Brisbane's CBD. Dry sclerophyll forest with large native eucalypts, sandy soil, filtered light except for midday. Flowering is usually during the Summer months, but I saw this spotting on the last day of Autumn....

Notes:

Some of the more common grass species found at this reserve - https://megoutlook.files.wordpress.com/2... and comprehensive species list - https://megoutlook.files.wordpress.com/2...

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Comments

Neil Ross
Spotted by
Neil Ross

Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Lat: -27.54, Long: 153.08

Spotted on May 31, 2019
Submitted on Jun 6, 2019

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