Barbed wire grass
Cymbopogon refractus, Fam. Poaceae
Perennial tussock grass to 1.5m tall.
|Form or habit:||Grass or grass-like plant|
Linear, up to 40 x 0.4cm; dull to bluish due to a waxy substance or whitish surface bloom which may be wiped off. Ligule 2mm long, membranous. Crushed leaves have a spicy or gingery scent.
Blue, Red, Brown, Green
|Flower description:||Narrow panicle of one to several erect branches, each branch terminates in a pair of racemes that are partially enclosed by a boat-shaped bract; racemes become reflexed giving the appearance of barbed wire. Changes in colour from green or blue green to rusty brown. Any time of the year.|
Brown, Blue, Green, Red
|Fruit description:||Two to six pairs of spikelets per raceme; paired spikelets dissimilar, the lower sessile and the upper pedicellate. Mostly awnless.|
|Habitat:||Open forest, woodland|
|Distribution||Queensland, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Victoria, Melanesia, Pacific Islands.|
|Food source for:||Seed eaten by the pale-headed rosella.|
|Toxicity:||No toxicity known|
|Origin:||Australia, Melanesia, Pacific Islands.|
|Notes:||Dominates some grasslands on headlands. It is a robust tussock grass forming fountain-like clumps whose base and leaves have an aromatic, somewhat gingery, fragrance. The chopped up leaves may be added to a pot of tea.|
|Information sources:||Melzer R. & Plumb J. (2007) Plants of Capricornia.|