Broad leaf wanderrie grass (Monachather paradoxus) in the Western Australian rangelands

Page last updated: Wednesday, 22 July 2020 - 12:51pm

Broad leaf wanderrie grass (Monachather paradoxus) is one of many plant species found in the Western Australian rangelands.

This page provides a summary of the plant's value for pastoralism. Pastoral lessees and station managers can use this information to assess pasture condition and trend.

Indicator value

Pastures dominated by broad leaf wanderrie grass in the Gascoyne and Murchison regions are usually in good pasture condition. It is less useful as an indicator of pasture condition in the Goldfields because it is likely to germinate only in good seasons in pasture dominated by woollybutt grass.

The density of broad leaf wanderrie grass stands in the Gascoyne and Murchison can be expected to deteriorate with the onset of below-average rainfall but population recovery should be rapid when more favourable seasonal conditions resume. In these circumstances, it is an indicator of good pasture condition. In areas subject to frequent heavy grazing, the population of broad leaf wanderrie grass is likely to become patchy and confined to the under-canopy of shrubs and trees that afford it some degree of protection. In this circumstance, the pasture condition is likely to be fair.

Forage value

Broad leaf wanderrie grass is one of the more important grasses that occur in wanderrie vegetation, and is relished by livestock. It will only germinate in summer, but established tussocks will respond vigorously to summer and winter rain.

Habitat

Sandy banks, sandplains, shallow soils

General description

Broad leaf wanderrie grass is a vigorous tussock grass that grows to about 60cm. The basal tussocks may reach a diameter of 25cm. Individual stems are unbranched and the individual leaves are coarse to the touch; up to 15cm in length and around 5mm across at the widest point. The flower spikes are a loose, open panicle that may reach a length of 15cm in favourable seasons. Individual seeds detach when they mature, leaving behind persisting pairs of pale papery bracts that resemble those typical of the diverse wanderrie genus Eriachne.

Contact information

Matthew Fletcher
+61 (0)8 9166 4019
Wayne Fletcher
+61 (0)8 9690 2135