Plant of the Month-April 2018


(Neurachne alopecuroidea)

(Photos: C. Schultz, whole plant, developing seed heads, mature seed, Cape Jervis)

If looking for a neat and tidy native grass species, then fox-tail mulga-grass could be the one for you! Its stems are 20-50 cm high, with a cluster of leaves at the base. Expect this perennial grass to die back over summer unless given extra water. The grey silky flowering spikes resemble a fox’s tail, hence the common name; and the species name “alopecuroidea” which comes from the Greek alopex, fox + oura, tail + oidea, -like). Native grasses provide shelter for many small creatures including skinks and finches, and they attract insects for other animals to eat. The seed of native grasses are a really important food source for many small birds. Look for this grass in spring, down by the ferry terminal where we will be planting it in the coastal display garden, south of the ferry terminal, along the Heysen Trail.