Different Types of Native Australian Grasses

Different Types of Native Australian Grasses

Native grasses are always better than exotic grasses due to their ease of growth, resilience as well as longevity. Australian land undergoes extreme weather conditions often facing droughts and dryness, not to mention extreme cold climates and along the coastline, heavy rainfall. Native Australian grasses can withstand all the harsh situations and do not need extra care and maintenance. Moreover, native grasses are also cheaper and cost-effective.

There are different types of grasses in Australia, some of which include but are not limited to the following:

  • Barbed Wire Grass
  • Black Spear Grass
  • Common Wheat Grass
  • Cotton Panic Grass
  • Hairy Arm Grass
  • Kangaroo Grass
  • Queensland Blue Grass
  • Red Grass
  • Scented Top Grass
  • Spear Grass
  • Tussock Grass
  • Wallaby Grass
  • Warrego Grass
  • Weeping Grass
  • Windmill Grass

There are more than 250 different types of native grasses found in Australia. Some of these grasses have originated from Australian soil, while some of them have eventually dominated the Australian soil in the past couple of decades.

Why Grasses?

Grasses are an essential part of any house landscape. They are responsible for the greenery in the lawns and give a beautiful look to the overall scene. People often either grow their grass from the seeds in their garden, or they purchase rolls of turf and lay them appropriately. Terms like gardening, mowing and tending are not uncommon. Anyone who owns a house and has a front yard or a backyard knows the importance of grass, for they add a touch of beauty and elegance to your house. And a well-maintained lawn is quite an impressive feature to have.

Why Select Native Grasses?

There are two kinds of grasses found in Australia, native and exotic. Native grasses are the types of grasses naturally found in the country. Exotic grasses have to be imported from other parts of the world and often cost more and are difficult to upkeep. There are a number of benefits that native grass offers over the exotic grass.

  1. Native grasses do not require quarantine checks.
    Australian customs laws are very strict and since the Australian continent is isolated from the rest of the world in its flora and fauna, the government is very strict about importing foreign products due to ecological reasons. Often, imported natural materials can dominate over Australian local products and cause the local species to die out. Australian government runs many biological tests before allowing a new species on the land in order to avoid this environmental threat.
  2. Native Grasses are a Healthy Source of Feed
    Local herbivorous animals such as goats and cows graze over grasses. Since these animals have been used to native grasses, they often do not function well once they start consuming new species of grass. They cannot find the same nutrients in the new grass, which messes up their natural diet and internal body systems. This is not dangerous though, because the animals can later get used to the new type of grass, but it takes a while.
  3. Native Grasses Are Long-lasting
    Native grasses are used to the Australian environment, so they do not have local threats. New exotic grasses need time to get used to the new Australian soil and environment. For this reason, they often die before they can reach their full age.
  4. Native Grasses Can Bear Stress
    Australian weather dwindles between the two extremes. Often, it gets so hot that there is a risk of fire, while often at times, it gets so cold that there is a risk of a frost. Australian native grasses have the ability to bear the stress of the weather and humidity and survive under harsh conditions. Exotic grasses, on the other hand, are used to stable weather and do not function well in weather extremes.

Role of Native Grasses in Environment

The Australian government prefers greenery to any country because of the weak ozone layer. Due to climatic threats, the government has tried its best to reduce greenhouse emissions and pollution, and promote a healthy environment. Grasses use up the pollutants in the air and give cleaner air in return. This reduces the overall rate of air pollution. Due to the long life and stability of the native grasses, these types are preferred more by the Australian government.

What is the difference between C3 and C4 grasses?

In Australian terminologies, C3 and C4 grasses are very common. Whenever you will be offered to buy a native grass, you will come across the grass classification as either C3 or C4. These terms indicate the type of pathway that the grasses undergo for capturing carbon dioxide from the air. C3 pathway is more common than C4 pathway. C3 pathway native grasses produce a 3-carbon molecule while C4 produces a 4-carbon molecule.

The difference in the pathway tells a lot about the native grass. If the grass is C3 type, it can either grow in a wet or dry environment, but functions best in the cool season. If the grass is C4 type, it can grow in either a moist or dry environment but functions best in the hot or warm season. C3 grasses can bear colder weathers and frosts better than C4, while C4 grasses can bear extremely hot weather and burns. The feed quality of C3 grasses is better than C4 grasses, while the production rate is lower.

Which Native Grass Should I Buy?

Depending on the type of carbon footprint and their characteristics, you will have to choose the grass accordingly. If you live in an area where there is a lot of sun all year long, such as Brisbane, then C4 grass should be your choice. If you live in an area with harsh winters such as the Blue Mountains, then C3 grasses should be your choice. You can also combine both types of grasses in one paddock. This allows you to have grass all year long regardless of the weather conditions.

Native grasses have many benefits; consult with the professionals before you decide which native grass type, and which specific species you want to plant in your garden. Never forget that while they can make our lives comfortable in many ways, choosing the wrong one may involve more maintenance costs and all year round care. Consulting with a professional at Rivers Edge Turf is the wise choice before purchasing your lawn; let us help you avoid any hassles or surprises by choosing the right grass for your needs.


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