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Eight day grass

Eight day grass

Fimbristylis dichotoma

Family: Cyperaceae

Very small ephemeral sedge which appears shortly after rain and lasts for about eight days. A true drought evader, in its short life it flowers and sets seed which it drops ready for the next rains to arrive. When the soil moisture becomes too low, the plant dies back to a crown just below the surface.

The leaves of this plant rarely grow more than 10cm high but the reddish-brown seed heads are borne on taller spikes (up the 40cm). It can appear and flower any time of year depending on rainfall.

It grows on a variety of habitats including alluvial soils, sandplains, shallow depressions, margins of rivers and creeks, rocky hillsides and the base of slopes.

Where to find this plant at Alice Springs Desert Park

Look for this grass in all the open areas especially on the entry road and the walk from the visitor centre to the amphitheatre. But be quick!

Allan, C. & Wilson, D., 2006. Central Australian Grass Guide
Cunningham, G. M. et al., 1981. Plants of Western New South Wales, NSW Government Printing Office

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