Chloris ventricosa

Variety: LIG 548

Distribution

There are several species of Windmill grass, which are widely distributed throughout southern and eastern Australia. The best known of these are Chloris ventricosa and Chloris truncata. They both occur in dryland grasslands and woodlands and principally on heavier soils.

Description

Tall Windmill grass is a summer growing perennial which lives for several years. The plant is bunched in habit and produces green foliage for much of the year. The leaves are hairless and the grass produces horizontal stems (stolons) which may form roots at the nodules. Distinctive windmill shaped seedheads form at the end of tall stems from summer to autumn. The seedheads have 3-7 spikes that are 4-10 cm long. When low temperatures occur in winter, this grass commonly enters a dormant period.

Habitat/Soil

Tall Windmill grass grows on a wide variety of soils, but prefers heavier rather than sandier types.

Tolerances

  • Low to moderate frost tolerance
  • Excellent drought tolerance
  • High heat tolerance

Sowing

Seed should be sown on or just below the surface from 2 to 5 mm and no deeper than 10 mm. Tall Windmill grass is best sown in the warmer months when air temperatures are consistently above 25°C. Germination time is from 7 to 10 days. An early spring sowing enables seeds to use available moisture. Sowing rates: 1-5kg/ha

Uses

Tall Windmill grass is often used as a primary establishment grass to hold soils together whilst other more long-term grasses become established.

Turf – Tall Windmill grass can tolerate regular mowing to form turf for amenity purposes, although it may not last for many years under these conditions.

Pasture – This grass has moderate forage value and is readily grazed by stock during summer.

Landscaping and site rehabilitation – when used as the initial soil-binding grass. Tall Windmill grass can be used with grasses such as Kangaroo grass and Redgrass.

Varieties

LIG 548
This variety was developed by the NSW Department of Land and Water Conservation (DLWC) through research funded by DLWC and the Meat and Livestock Association, the Land and Water Resources Research and Development Corporation and the Victorian Department of Natural Resources and the Environment. LIG 548 originated from plants collected in the wheat-sheep zone. It is tolerant of high summer temperatures and low/intermittent summer rainfall. It establishes easily from spring sowing and is highly sought after by stock for summer grazing.