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Woolly oat grass or leafy nine awn

Wooly oat grass

Enneapogon polyphyllus

Family: Poaceae

Small tufted annual grass growing 20 to 40cm in height. It features several stems growing from the base and each plant can get to 15cm wide.

The leaves are 15cm long, bright green and covered in soft, fine hairs.

Seed heads of this grass are compact and narrow. They range from 5 to 9cm in length. summer is its main growth period.

This plant grows abundantly over large areas in flat or hilly country, on deep or shallow clayey or sandy soils. It grows particularly well in alluvial soils associated with river floodplains, often with bunched kerosene grass (Aristida contorta). It can easily become the dominant grass in an area if invasive introduced grasses such as buffel grass (Cenchrus ciliaris) are absent.

Where to find this plant at Alice Springs Desert Park

This grass is very common and widespread across all areas of the park.

Allan, C. & Wilson, D., 2006. Central Australian Grass Guide, CLMA, Alice Springs
Lazarides, M., 1970. The Grasses of Central Australia, ANU Press, Canberra

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