A number of species are commonly called Wallaby Grass and they can be used as ornamental grasses in the garden a border plants, in clumps, and even as lawn substitutes.
These are an evergreen grass that do vary in height and appearance. However all species tolerate frosts, drought heat and a range of soil conditions. They are found widely Victoria into New South Wales and souther Queensland. in parts of South Australia and across Tasmania as well as the south west of Western Australia.
As well as being a possible lawn substitute, these are also a valuable group of grasses for erosion control. Once established they will help prevent weeds and can be used for planting between fruit trees and vines.
Six widely used varieties are listed.
- Rytidosperma caespitosum (syn. Austrodanthonia caespitosa) This is the common Wallaby grass. This is a dense growing tussock from grass that will reach from 20 cm to 90 cm in height. It grows well in full sun to part shade and the creamy seed heads are an added attraction.
- Rytidosperma geniculatum (syn Austrodanthonia geniculata) this is the Kneed Wallaby-grass lower growing than most others to around 15 cm in height. Slender wiry foliage with attracytive seed heads from spring to summer.
- Rytidosperma racemosum (syn. Austrodanthonia racemosa ) is commonly called the Clustered Wallaby grass. PAnotherlow growing form to around 20 cm
- Rytidosperma setaceum (syn. Austrodanthonia setacea) Also known as the small flowered Wallaby Grass. This species will reach around 30 cm in height.
- Austrodanthonia longifolia is a long leafed variety reaching from 60 cm to 1 metre in height
- Austrostipa elegantissima is an elegant form with with to pale pink feathery flower heads, and this species will reach around 50 cm in height.
Care and Maintenance
You can grow Wallaby grass for seed and although germination is usually fast, it is a grass that takes some time to establish.
All species need moisture over a long period to germinate and establish. The majority of the new growth is the root system. This is related to the drought tolerant of the grass, the root system is deep to allow for survival in tough dry conditions.
Once the root system is established, foliage growth increases.
Tubestock is also available of selected varieties for ornamental planting and faster establishment.
Once established you can maintain appearance by cutting back once a year, use a brush cutter and rake up the excess, or set a lawn mower at a tall height.
Wallaby Grass Varieties are available for sale from the following nurseries.
Native grasses, sedges, rushes, lilies, wetland plants, ornamental grasses and grass trees. Contract growing. Cells, tubes and pots. Contemporary water wise garden solutions and revegetation specialists. Unique garden decor, pots and original sculptures. Delivery available. www.plantsandlandscapes.com.au