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Themeda triandra Forssk

At the Australian Botanic Garden, Mount Annan we mechanically harvest large quantities of kangaroo grass seed. We use this seed for restoration of the native grasslands following the large scale removal of African olive. A quad bike-mounted grass seed harvester is used to collect kangaroo grass and a range of other native grass species. The harvester uses a stiff cylindrical brush that removes both seed and floret and then the seed/floret material is directly sown to the restoration site. Germination can be slow and can take up to 12 months, depending on seasonal conditions.

Although Themeda triandra itself is not endangered as a species it does grow in Temperate Grassland communities, which have been declared as endangered in the Australian Capital Territory and threatened in Victoria. The grasslands are under threat due to loss and fragmentation through inadequate land management practices. As kangaroo grass does not tolerate heavy or continuous grazing, it can be a useful indicator of the level of disturbance in an area.

Common namekangaroo grass
Scientific nameThemeda triandra Forssk.

Genus:  from the Arabic word thaemed, which means a depression in which water lies after rain, subsequently drying in summer.

Species: refers to the three stamens.

DistributionThe species has a particularly wide distribution and is found in all Australia states and territories.
Native habitatIt commonly grows in grassland and open woodland communities.
DescriptionTufted perennial grass to 1 m high, often tinted red. Tussocks up to 0.5 m across.
Flowering/fruitingFlowers mostly in summer.
Location in gardenIn the garden beds around PlantBank and is also widespread and common in the natural grasslands and woodlands.
Garden ExplorerView Themeda triandra Forssk on Garden Explorer