Drought tolerant grasses

Native grasses are adapted to drought

Australia regularly suffers from severe droughts and low rainfall. Australian native grasses are well adapted to this and are usually the first grasses to recover after a drought. They have a variety of mechanisms for drought avoidance, either through entering a prolonged dormancy, or through having a below-ground crown which is capable of surviving drought and grazing. These grasses are usually advantaged by the impact of drought and become more prevalent following the breaking of the drought. Once grasses are established they can survive with minimal watering or irrigation.

When native grasses are used for lawns, landscape and amenity uses, there is a much lower (sometimes nil) watering requirement. In pastures, native grasses have a far greater capacity to tolerate drought without the need to resow the pasture following the breaking of the drought. In horticulture, supplementary irrigation in the space between the rows of vines or tree crops may not be needed.

Native grasses tolerate high summer temperatures

Australian summers have high temperatures and native grasses have evolved to be able to tolerate these conditions. Many grasses, such as wallaby grass, retain green colour and some growth throughout the summer. So several native grasses are suitable for lawns and amenity areas where a green colour is desired throughout the year. Many of these grasses are also able to respond to summer rainfall by retaining this slow-growing, but active–state over the summer period.