Australian Journal of Botany Australian Journal of Botany Society
Southern hemisphere botanical ecosystems

Agrostis castellana (Poaceae), Dominant Agrostis Species, Found in Bent Grass Pastures in South-eastern Australia

M.-G. Batson

Australian Journal of Botany 46(6) 697 - 705
Published: 1998


There is considerable uncertainty that the traditional identification of bent grasses in south-eastern Australia as Agrostis capillaris L. (Syn. Agrostis tenuis Sibth.) is correct, due to a history of confusing nomenclature and mis-identification. Bent grass is considered a weed of pastures in the high-rainfall zone of south-eastern Australia and thus the correct identity of bent grass may have implications for its management and control. Populations of bent grass were sampled from 42 pastures in south-eastern Australia and Agrostis castellana Boiss. et Reuter, rather than A. capillaris, was found to be the dominant species of Agrostis in 33 out of 42 bent grass pastures sampled. Five of the nine pastures sampled in Tasmania contained A. capillaris as opposed to only 1 of the 33 pastures sampled in Victoria. Agrostis castellana had not been identified in Victoria or Tasmania prior to this work. Since A. castellana grows more vigorously by rhizomes than A. capillaris, control measures recommended for A. capillaris may not be relevant for bent grass pastures in south-eastern Australia. Ligule length, ligule width and width of lamina, measured to determine whether species of bent grass could be easily distinguished in the field, did not distinguish adequately between A. castellana and A. capillaris.

© CSIRO 1998

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