Information about plants & gardens for Brisbane & Qld
This page will cover grass species typically grown as specimens in the garden or in containers for their decorative foliage and/or flower spikes and seed heads. Turf, Bamboo and Tiger grass are covered on a seperate pages. Zoysia AKA "no mow grass" is also covered on the Turf page, although when grown as an unmown groundcover, it might be considered an ornamental species.
Beware! Many grasses have great weed potential. Buy your plants from reputable sources that supply your area. If in doubt, consult the appropriate authority for your region.
Purple fountain grass was covered in the 27-08-2021 edition of Get Results Gardening. Lots of tropical and subtropical plants suitable for Australian residential landscapes are discussed in this weekly email publication. Find out how to get a free trial at calyx.com.au/getresultsgardening.html
Purple Fountain Grass
Works well in beds alongside flowering perennials or small shrubs. Sun needed for colour development. Clump-forming to approx 50-60cm. Some more dwarf varieties also available.
Pennisetum advena Rubrum
Purple Fountain Grass (Pennisetum advena 'Rubrum') at the Grow Me Instead website, Australia
Pennisetum x advena 'Rubrum' Singapore National Parks
Pennisetum setaceum 'Rubrum' Missouri Botanical Garden
Pennisetum macrostachyum 'Burgundy Giant'
Pennisetum macrostachyum 'Burgundy Giant' (sometimes described as a tall form of Pennisetum advena 'Rubrum') is a tall (approx 1.5-2m) grass with burgundy-coloured foliage and attractive feathery flowerheads. The bamboo/sugarcane effect suits tropical-style gardens.
Pennisetum macrostachyum 'Burgundy Giant'
Thysanolaena maxima syn. Thysanolaena latifolia These links have been moved to a separate page: Tiger grass
Links about Zoysia tenuifolia have been included on the Turf page
More Online Information
The following are for general information, research and ideas - some species or cultivars referred to in links may be unavailable in Australia or unsuitable for Queensland conditions
Ornamental grasses: cutting back Royal Horticultural Society, UK
Ornamental grasses: dividing Royal Horticultural Society, UK
Australian Native Grasses
If you're interested in the use of grasses as ornamentals, why not explore the potential of Australian native species?
Stipa information on native grasses and their use in agriculture
Australian Grasses, Sedges & Rushes Australian Plants Society, Central Coast Group (NSW)
Australian Native Grasses and Gardens Australian Native Plants Society (Australia) Formerly the Association of Societies for Growing Australian Plants (ASGAP)
Use of Native Grasses in Landscaping Australian Native Plants Society (Australia) Formerly the Association of Societies for Growing Australian Plants (ASGAP)
The Pricelessness of Kangaroo Grass (Themeda triandra) Australian Native Plants Society (Australia) Formerly the Association of Societies for Growing Australian Plants (ASGAP)
Growing Grasses Australian Native Plants Society (Australia) Formerly the Association of Societies for Growing Australian Plants (ASGAP)
The Use Of Native Grasses In Your Garden Australian Native Plants Society (Australia) Formerly the Association of Societies for Growing Australian Plants (ASGAP)
Themeda triangularis Kangaroo Grass. Save Our Waterways Now, Brisbane
Barbed Wire Grass (Cymbopogon refractus) at the Grow Me Instead website, Australia
Cymbopogon refractus Barbed Wire Grass. Save Our Waterways Now, Brisbane
Cymbopogon ambiguus A.Camus PlantNET, National Herbarium of NSW
Cymbopogon ambiguus Alice Springs Town Council
Cymbopogon ambiguus (Hack.) A.Camus Atlas of Living Australia
Cymbopogon ambiguus Ausgrass2
Native Lemon Grass (Cymbopogon ambiguus) at the Grow Me Instead website, Australia
Cymbopogon obtectus Silky Heads. Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust, Sydney
Microlaena stipoides FloraBank
Poa labillardieri FloraBank
Poa labillardieri:Tussock Grass The Florez Nursery blog, NSW
Themeda triandra FloraBank
Prickly Couch Zoysia macrantha. Coastal Plant Regeneration, Hunter and Central Coast Regional Environmental Management Strategy
Sand spinifex grass (Spinifex sericeus) Department of Environment and Resource Management, Queensland (PDF)
Friends of Grasslands Australian Capital Territory
More to come in future updates...
Mexican Feather Grass traders go to court
Bunnings plus several wholesale nurseries have pleaded guilty in the Melbourne Magistrates Court to buying and selling Mexican Feather Grass in 2008. As part of an out-of-court settlement, Bunnings have agreed to implement better systems and staff training to prevent noxious weeds being distributed in the future. Source: Bunnings Fined Over Prohibited Weed (July 2010)
Update April, 2009: Biosecurity Queensland want to track down remaining feather grass plants that were distributed throughout Qld by mistake last year. If you suspect you have one of these plants, or know where one is, do not move or dump the plant. Contact Biosecurity Queensland immediately on 13 25 23.