Wire grass

Page last updated: Monday, 13 August 2018 - 1:22pm

Wire grass (Eriachne obtusa) is one of many plant species found in the Western Australian rangelands. This page provides a summary of the plant's value for pastoralism. Pastoral lessees and station managers can use this information to assess pasture condition and trend.

Indicator value

Wire grass is an indicator of fair to poor pasture condition where it is dominant. It is considered to be an intermediate species. It seems to be an increaser in above-average rainfall years.

Forage value

Wire grass is sometimes eaten by livestock when it is young but becomes coarse and unpalatable when mature.

Habitat

Pindan, various soils

General description

Wire grass is a slender, erect, tufted perennial grass that can grow to 60cm tall, with a thickened hairy base. The stems are very fine. The leaves are stiff and flat, and about 5–10cm long. The seed head is 4–8cm long and is open with several fine branchlets bearing a few silky-haired seeds.

Contact information

Matthew Fletcher
+61 (0)8 9166 4019
Kathryn Ryan
+61 (0)8 9166 4015