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BARLEY MITCHELL GRASS

Astrebla pectinata

Plant Family

Poaceae

Alternative Common Names

Cow mitchell.

Slender or coarse compact tussocky perennial grass, 15-120 cm high, though mostly less than 60cm, arising from a short rhizome, the rhizome and butt hairless, often knotty, covered by short, firm, sometimes shiny reduced leaves. Stems are erect, hairless, smooth, usually much branched 6 to 9 noded, with the lower internodes flattened.

Leaves - 7.5-25 cm long, to 6mm wide, flat, bluish-green, finely pointed, stiff, mostly hairless, rather rough and sharp on the edges, often becoming curly or twisted with age.

Flower - head compact, 4-13 cm long, 1-2 cm wide, partly enclosed by the uppermost leaf-sheath when young, consisting of 1 (rarely 2) green or straw coloured, soft bristly spike, the axis somewhat flattened, rather broad, wavy, strongly veined, covered by minute bristles and on one side bearing the densely crowded, closely overlapping spikelets in two regular rows.

Flowering mainly spiring-autumn.

Habitat

Heavy clay and clay loam soils, often those with gilgais, but sometimes found on flooded sandy alluvium. Often associated with bladder saltbush and curly mitchell grass communities.

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