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Birdwood grass

(Cenchrus setiger)

  • very drought tolerant type of buffelgrass
  • seeds with hard short (but not sharp) bristles
  • free-seeding.

Birdwood is a perennial bunch-type grass is found on sandy or free-draining soils in 250 mm rainfall country in north-western Western Australia, north-west Queensland and in the Northern Territory.

The plant is similar to a short non-rhizomatous buffel type, but the purple seed has short, stiff teeth instead of fine bristles.

Birdwood can grow and set seed freely despite very limited rainfall; flowering can be initiated within 11 days of germination and seed produced within a month. However, it has a short growing season, and does not respond well to winter rain. It is quite palatable and can withstand heavy stocking by sheep.

Buffel grass would be preferable in all except very dry poor country.

Creator: Ian Partridge
Date created: 08 April 1998  Revised: 15 January 20038

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