The other day after having a bit of a rant about creeping grasses in the lawn, I got online and did a bit of reading about native Australian grasses. Because of drought and salinity there’s been a bit of a resurgence of interest in native grasses lately and seed can be bought online. The CSIRO and other government departments research and recommend various native grasses for pasture and land reclamation.
There are a number of “windmill” grasses around the world. This one is most likely Chloris truncata though its growth seems to be a little short. Windmill grass is related to couch (kooch) grass Cynodon dactylon though it doesn’t spread into garden beds like couch does.
Couch seed is frequently included in lawn seed although it is classified as a weed or even a noxious weed in some areas. It still confuses me the way nurseries do that. Agapanthus, broom and robinia are weeds too, but they are grown and sold to unwitting gardeners.
Windmill grass is drought tolerant and moderately frost tolerant. The main reason for the interest in this rather than other natives such as kangaroo grass, red grass or curly mitchell grass, is the seed. The seeds of this won’t work their way into the sheep wool or dog’s ears or feet too badly.
It’s said to be a nutritious pasture grass, but apparently it’s no good for growing in wheat cropping areas. If you’re considering a lawn of native grass, it might be worth investigating mixing windmill grass with something like curly mitchell or red grass.