Feathertop threeawn grass (Aristida inaequiglumis) in the Western Australian rangelands

Page last updated: Tuesday, 20 February 2024 - 2:50pm

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Feathertop threeawn (Aristida inaequiglumis) 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

Feathertop threeawn is an indicator of poor pasture condition where dominant. It is considered to be an undesirable species. Feathertop threeawn tends to be an increaser on light soils where it can withstand heavy pasture grazing pressure because it is unpalatable.

Forage value

Feathertop threeawn may be grazed when young in the wet season, but is unpalatable to livestock once it matures. 


Pindan and red soils.

General description

Feathertop threeawn is a leafy, erect, long-lived perennial grass that can grow to 60–90cm tall, forming dense tussocks. The leaves are long and flat but tend to curl or twist with age. The seeds occur in long, narrow seed heads to 60cm long. Each seed has 3 slender unequal awns directly attached to the seed spike which has a sharp point. The awns are about 10–40mm long.