Grasses, Tussocks and Lilies

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Arthropodium milleflorum

(Pale Vanilla Lily)

0.3-1.3 m x 30 cm

Grass-like tufted perennial herb

Pale pink or white flowers.

Moist well drained, often rocky, soils; full sun, semi-shade.

Arthropodium strictum

(Chocolate Lily)

0.2-1.2 m x 20-80 cm

Narrow, flat or slightly channelled leaves.

Violet or deep pink flowers on long stalks.

Well drained soils; full sun, semi-shade.

A most attractive and adaptable plant. Ideal for a rockery.

Austrostipa pubinodis (Stipa pubinodis)

(Tall Spear Grass)

0.6-1.3 m high

Tufted, rhizomatous perennial.

Rough or smooth, tightly inrolled or folded leaves.

Moist to well drained soils.

Bulbine bulbosa

(Bulbine Lily)

20-50 cm x 30 cm

Densely tufted perennial herb.

Yellow star-like flowers.

Moist heavy soils; full sun, semi-shade.

Plants die back to the rootstock in dry weather.

Deyeuxia quadriseta

(Reed Bent-grass)

0.15-1.5 m x 40 cm

Open, sparsely tufted perennial tussock.

Rough, flat to slightly inrolled leaf.

Poorly drained soils; full sun, semi-shade.

Large clumps are attractive in flower.

Dianella admixta (revoluta)

(Black Anther Flax-lily)

30-80 cm x 0.5-1.5 m

Dense to open tufted perennial. Dark green, finely serrated, linear leaves with blue fruit.

Dry well drained soils. Full sun, semi-shade.

A very tolerant plant once established. Ideal for growing close to trees.

Dianella amoena

(Matted Flax-lily)

To 45cm x 1-5 m

Narrow, tapering bluish to grey-green leaves with large, sweetly scented violet flowers.

Well drained to seasonally wet fertile sandy loam to cracking clay soils. Full sun, semi-shade.

A threatened species, endangered nationally.

Dianella laevis var laevis (caerulea)

(Paroo Lily, Blue Flax-lily)

0.3-1.5 m x 50 cm

Soft, spreading linear leaves with pale to dark blue flowers and purple berries.

Moist to dryish well drained clay and clay-loam soils. Full sun, semi-shade.

An attractive, easily maintained clumping plant, ideal for growing under trees. Aborigines used leaves for basket making.

Dianella longifolia

(Pale Flax-lily)

1.3 m x 0.4-1 m

Pale-leaved tufted plant, purplish-blue flowers, blue fruit.

Well drained skeletal soils often associated with rocky outcrops. Full sun, semi-shade.

Attracts indigenous bees.

Dianella tasmanica

(Tasman Flax-lily)

0.6-1.5 m x 0.5 - 2 m

Very robust tufted perennial. Large fruit, violet berries. Strong many-branched panicles of metallic blue to deep purple flowers.

Moist soils, preferable in a cool position. Semi-shade to full shade.

Dichelachne sieberiana


0.3-1 m high

Narrow, flat, rough hairy leaves. Sparse, loose, often drooping panicles 4-25 cm long.

Well drained soils. Semi-shade.

Diplarrena moraea

(Butterfly Flag)

0.3-1 m x 0.5-1 m

Dense tussock-forming perennial herb. Beautiful white iris flower. Strap-like dark leaves.

Relatively well drained soils. Full sun, semi-shade.

A very attractive plant.

Echinopogon ovatus

(Forest Hedgehog-grass)

0.15-1 m high

Slender erect or scrambling grass. Very rough, flat leaves tapering to a point.

Moist soils. Semi-shade.

Eragrostis brownii

(Common Love-grass)

10-50 cm x 30 cm

Spreading flat leaves.

Moist soils, seasonal wetlands in shallow water. Full sun, semi-shade.

A decorative grass for rockeries.

Hemarthria uncinata

(Mat Grass)

40-80 cm x 1-3 m

Rigid, matted grassy sward.

Requires moist soils. Full sun, semi-shade.

Vigorous plants may grow to 1 m high on sheltered sites.

Imperata cylindrica

(Blady Grass)

0.1-1 m high

Erect coarse, vigorously spreading grass. Dense, fluffy, cylindrical spike-like panicles.

Moist, well drained soils. Full sun, semi-shade.

Flowerheads are extremely ornamental.

Lomandra filiformis

(Wattle Mat-rush)

6-25 cm x 15-20 cm

Narrow green leaves, numerous small globular yellow flowers.

Moist, well drained clays or sands tolerating dry shady conditions once established. Full sun, semi-shade.

An attractive rockery plant.

Lomandra longifolia ssp. exilis

(Spiny-headed Mat-rush)

30-60 cm high.

Leaves are narrower than the more common variety.

Dry conditions.

Lomandra longifolia ssp. longifolia

(Cluster-headed Mat-rush)

0.5-1 m x 0.5-1.2 m

Dense tussock plant. Large clump, strap leaves.

Well drained soils. Full sun, semi-shade.

Grows well under established trees.

Lomandra multiflora

(Many-flowered Mat-rush)

30-90 cm x 30-50 cm

Rigid, narrow, greyish leaves, yellow flowers in densely whorled clusters.

Well drained soils, tolerating extended dry periods once established. Semi-shade.

An attractive plant for gardens and containers.

Microlaena stipoides

(Weeping Grass)

1 m x 60 cm (highly variable)

Spreading to semi-erect smooth to rough flat leaves.

Moist, well drained soils. Full sun, semi-shade.

One of the best lawn grasses for shady sites.

Microseris lanceolata

(Yam Daisy)

15-50 cm x 15-25 cm

Tufted perennial herb regenerating annually from fleshy, branched or turnip shaped tuberous root.

Long toothed leaves with a single bright yellow daisy flowerhead.

Moist to well drained soils. Seli-shade.

Tuberous rootstock was a staple part of the Aboriginal diet.

Patersonia fragilis

(Short Purple Flag)

20-60 cm x 40 cm

Bright, deep purple flowers. Stiff narrow blue-green leaves.

Moist to seasonally wet sandy soil. Full sun, semi-shade.

Attractive rockery plant.

Patersonia occidentalis

(Purple Flag)

20-80 cm x 30-60 cm

Compact clumping perennial herb.

Bluish-purple or occasionally white flowers. Flat leaves.

Poorly drained winter wet, summer dry conditions in sand or clay-loam. Full sun, semi-shade.

Suitable for bog gardens or pond edges but also tolerant of drier positions.

Phragmites australis

(Common Reed)

1-3 m high

Semi-aquatic, fast growing, bamboo-like grass.

Seasonally or permanently wet and poorly drained soils. Full sun, semi-shade.

An attractive waterside plant for dams and large ponds. Keep in a container to prevent it taking over.

Poa ensiformis

(Purple-sheath Tussock Grass)

0.8-1.5 m x 0.5-1.2 m

Dark green grass forming loose to dense tussocks.

Moist clay-loam soils. Semi-shade to full shade.

Vigorous grass, ideally suited to moist, shaded sites but can become invasive under ideal conditions. Useful for controlling erosion.

Poa labillardieri

(Common Tussock Grass)

0.5-1.2 m x 0.5-1.5 m

Large, course densely tufted tussock.

Moist to wettish alluvial soils. Full sun, semi-shade.

A vigorous grass with many forms, commonly used in large landscape projects.

Poa morrisii

(Velvet Tussock Grass)

0.5-1 m x 30-60 cm

Softly hairy, dense bluish-grey tussock.

Moist to dryish well drained soils, often poor or rocky soil. Full sun, semi-shade.

A most attractive grass.

Poa sieberiana

(Tussock Grass)

50-80 cm x 0.3-1 m

Attractive dense green tufted grass.

Well drained soil, tolerating short dry periods. Full sun, semi-shade.

Very adaptable. Establishes well under existing eucalypts.

Poa tenera

(Slender Tussock Grass)

5-50 cm x 0.5-2 m

Bright green, soft, trailing grass.

Moist soils. Semi-shade to full shade.

Very effective trailing down embankments.

Rytidosperma caespitosa

(Common Wallaby Grass)

Synonym: Danthonia caespitosa, Austrodanthonia caespitosa

0.9-1.2 cm x 40 cm

Variable perennial grass often forming a dense tussock.

Moist well drained soils. Full sun, semi-shade.

Rytidosperma pallidum

(Red Anther Wallaby Grass)

Synonym: Joycea pallida

1.5-1.8 m x 50-70 cm

Spreading tufted perennial grass with fine green or bluish leaves.

Well drained dryish soils. Semi-shade.

A most attractive grass, especially in flower, forming large clumps.

Rytidosperma penicillatum

(Slender Wallaby Grass)

Synonym: Danthonia penicillata, Austrodanthonia penicillata

To 20 cm x 30 cm. Stems to 60 cm high

Fine, weeping perennial grass.

Moist well drained soil. Semi-shade.

A distinctive graceful grass.

Rytidosperma pilosum

(Velvet Wallaby Grass)

Synonym: Danthonia pilosa, Austrodanthonia pilosa

To 50 cm x 30 cm

Erect or flattened tufted perennial grass.

Dryish soils. Semi-shade.

Rytidosperma racemosum

(Clustered Wallaby Grass)

Synonym: Danthonia racemosa, Austrodanthoniaracemosa

To 20 cm high. Stems 10-80 cm high

Variable; slender tufts or dense tussock-forming perennial grass.

Dry to moist well drained soils. Full sun, semi-shade.

Useful for native lawns. Tolerates light mowing.

Rytidosperma semiannulare

(Tasmania Wallaby Grass)

Synonym: Danthonia semiannularis, Austrodanthoniasemiannularis

To 60 cm x 40 cm

Erect tussock-forming perennial grass.

Moist light or sandy soils tolerating temporary inundation. Full sun, semi-shade.

Rytidosperma setaceum

(Bristly Wallaby Grass)

Synonym: Danthonia setacea, Austrodanthonia setacea

60-70 cm x 40 cm

Erect, slender, densely tufted perennial.

Adaptable, ranging from sandy to heavy soils usually in dryish conditions. Full sun, semi-shade.

Stipa rudis

(Spear Grass)

Synonym: Austrostipa rudis

To 1.2 m high

Erect inrolled leaves to 40 cm long.

Moist soils. Semi-shade to full shade.

Stylidium armeria

(Thrift-leaved Triggerplant)

0.2-1 m x 20-40 cm

Small tufted perennial herb, with pink flowers.

Moist well drained soils, tolerating dryish periods once established. Full sun, semi-shade.

An excellent rockery or container plant.

Stylidium graminifolium

(Grass Trigger Plant)

20-75 m x 10-50 cm

Small tufted perennial herb, with pink flowers.

Moderately well drained sandy or gravelly soil. Full sun, semi-shade.

Tetrarrhena juncea

(Forest Wire Grass)

0.6-3 m x 1-5 m

Wiry, scrambling or climbing perennial grass.

Moist soils, tolerating drying out in summer. Semi-shade to full shade.

Helps to prevent soil erosion.

Thelionema caespitosum

(Blue Grass-lily)

20-90 cm x 0.5-1.36 m

An attractive plant for a moist rockery. Blue, star-shaped flowers.

Moist sandy or peaty soils. Full sun, semi-shade.

Themeda triandra

(Kangaroo Grass)

0.3-1 m x 20-60 cm

Green to bluish-green (blue form) leaves, tussock grass.

Adaptable to most soils. Full sun, semi-shade.

Thysanotus patersonii

(Twining Fringe-lily)

Stems 0.1-1 m long

Light creeper, twining weakly on other plants. Numerous mauve to violet flowers.

Well drained soils. Full sun, semi-shade.

A delightful little climber, not noticeable until in flower.

Xanthorrhoea minor

(Small Grass Tree)

60 cm x 1 m

Dense grassy clump with yellowish flowers in a terminal spike.

Well drained soils, tolerating dryness once established. Full sun, semi-shade.

An attractive grassy clump. Especially prolific after fires.