Wheat Grass

Wheat Grass

Scientific name Elymus scaber Common name(s) Wheat grass
Synonym(s) Anthosachne scabra Varieties Oakey
Murray
Description

Wheat grass is an all year green perennial grass with a tussocky habit. The leaves are narrow, rough along the edges and have a half-twist. It grows from 30-100 cm high and flowers from late spring to summer. The seedheads are quite long (up to 1.5 m) and can become lax and fall over. Seeds have one long awn per seed, but often remain joined together as a group even when they have dropped from the stem. The plant remains green throughout the summer as long as there is some soil moisture.

Tolerance High frost tolerance
Moderate drought tolerance
Low salt tolerance
Sowing

Wheat grass is easier to establish than other native grass species. Preferred depth for sowing is around 10 mm in autumn to winter. With moist conditions, the seed takes from 7 - 10 days to germinate. The seedlings are hairy and bluish in colour. They progress rapidly through to the 5 - 7 leaf stage.

Sowing rate Sow wheat grass at a rate of 5 - 10 kg per hectare for pasture
Sow wheat grass at a rate of 5 kg per hectare for revegetation
Uses Pasture
Revegetation
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Distribution map of Wheat grass (Elymus scaber)
Distribution map for Australian Wheat Grass

Wheat grass is found in all Australian states except the Northern Territory and is more common in districts with cool winters. In mature stands, wheat grass often forms only a small percentage of the sward probably owing to its high palatability at certain times of the year. Habitats where it can be found are plains grasslands, redgum woodland, and dry sclerophyll forests.

Wheat grass as pasture

Oakey Wheat (Elymus scaber) grass pasture