Another striking Australian Ornamental Grass: Austrostipa verticillata

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I saw this species of Austrostipa growing in Canberra a few weeks back, and photographed it thinking it was Austrostipa ramosissima. However, on closer inspection I realised it was a native grass which I hadn’t come across before, how exciting! a newbie to add to my native ornamental grass planting palette. After much research I am petty confident this is Austrostipa verticillata (thankyou Michael Cooke Design for posting beautiful images of the Ornamental Grasses you love) which is a very adaptable plant growing on light soils and clay, it is also hardy to frost and drought.

Austrostipa verticillata

The defining feature for me is the delicate pink-green flowerheads, which hopefully you can get an idea of in the following images.

Austrostipa verticillata

Austrostipa verticillata is a shallow-rooted grass that grows in dry eucalypt forest, woodlands, shrub lands, low open forests, grasslands and along coastlines, from Queensland to as far south as Bega. It is wind tolerant and if given ample moisture will respond with more height.

Austrostipa verticillata

Austrostipa verticillata has a naturally soft weeping habit and when planted in shade will pretty much lay down on the ground. It often occurs in shallow soils of low fertility in areas of high summer temperatures, which is why it was performing so beautifully in Canberra.

Austrostipa verticillata

If grown in full sun this species will form a dense weeping clump to 1 metre tall. The seeds are great for seed eating birds and smaller insect eating birds will also fossick in the grass’s dense foliage.

Austrostipa verticillata

So Austrostipa verticillata seems to be a very useful and adaptable larger native grass, almost like a younger sibling to Austrostipa ramosissima, which I use all the time.

Austrostipa verticillata

So please consider this species when you have a difficult dry shady position or need a vertical element in a garden bed, I’m sure you wont be disappointed.


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