Capillipedium spicigerum

This grass is very similar to the closely-related species Capillipedium parviflorum and shares the same common name.

Distribution

Scented Top grass is primarily found on the east coast of Australia, although it is also found in small quantities in the Northern Territory and it also occurs on some Pacific islands.

Description

A long-lived perennial with warm season growth. It is a clumping plant with erect seedheads often up to 1.5 metres tall. This grass is of value for its attractive appearance and the scent of its seedheads, as it produces little palatable fodder. The purple-coloured seedheads remain on the plant for some months and flowering can be almost continuous throughout the year in all except the winter affected areas.

Habitat/Soil

It is common on the open edges of eucalyptus woodlands which receive infrequent grazing and the grass seems to accept the occasional shading of taller trees. It is found on a wide range of soil types.

Tolerances

  • Moderate drought tolerance
  • Low frost tolerance

Sowing

Seed should be sown into a weed-free seedbed in early spring, or later with irrigation or summer rainfall. The seed is very small, fluffy and is difficult to sow on its own. It should be sown blended with an inert carrier such as vermiculite. Seed should be surface sown and rubbed or rolled into the surface.

Uses

The principle application of Scented Top grass is for landscaping where its attractive appearance and scented seedheads offer excellent visual appeal.