Grasses > Buffel Grass (Cenchrus ciliaris) | Fairy Grass (Sporobolus caroli) | Finger Grass (Chloris barbata) | Kangaroo Grass (Themeda triandra) | Silkyheads (Cymbopogon obtectus) | Soft Spinifex (Triodia pungens) | Spinifex (Triodia, Family Poaceae) | Wanderrie Grass (Eriachne sp) | Weeping Spinifex (Triodia brizoides)

Grass is a common name applied to a range of monocotyledonous flowering plants that include cereal grasses, grasses found in natural grassland areas, and cultivated grasses found in lawns and pastures.

Monocotyledons commonly referred to as monocots, (Lilianae sensu Chase & Reveal) are grass and grass-like flowering plants (angiosperms), the seeds of which typically contain only one embryonic leaf, or cotyledon.

Monocotyledon, Wikipedia
Kangaroo Grass (Themeda triandra), Alice Springs, NT
Kangaroo Grass (Themeda triandra), Alice Springs, NT

Grasses can be hard to identify, especially during the different stages of their growth. Many native grasses and non-native such as buffel grass can be hard to identify in their early stages of growth. The same applies near the end stages of their growth, when many of the seeds have dispersed.

This section on the grasses will be a work in progress, as we provide general information on the various types of grass species found in Australia, both native and non-native, including the feral grasses (classified as weeds).

In Australia, there are a number of invasive species that have established themselves including Buffel grass (Cenchrus ciliaris), Gamba grass (Andropogon gayanus), Mission grass (Pennisetum polystachion) and Birdwood grass (Cenchrus setiger).

Where available, we will provide some reference sources for your information.

The term grass is also used to include groups of plants such as spinifex, grass trees etc. Grass trees are not grasses, as they belong to the genus Xanthorrhoea, composed of about 30 species of flowering plants that are endemic to Australia.

We aim to provide photographs as examples of each species, some being at different times of the lifespan of the grass species. Our aim is to try and be accurate, although on occasions we may misidentify the specific species, so please feel free to correct us and advise us on the correct identification.
Buffel grass (Cenchrus ciliaris), Redbank Waterhole, Owen Springs, NT
Buffel grass (Cenchrus ciliaris), Redbank Waterhole, Owen Springs, NT

Check out our following listed grasses information:

The following are technically not grasses:

The following scientific classification is fluid, in that some of the grasses to be covered on this site may fall under other classifications. Where available, we will details the specific species on the individual pages.

  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Clade: Tracheophytes
  • Clade: Angiosperms
  • Clade: Monocots
  • Clade: Commelinids
  • Order: Poales

More information coming as we expand the content of this section..

Footnote & References

  1. Monocotyledon, (last visited Mar. 18, 2022)
  2. Native grasses – A regional guide, Natural Resources, Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges,