Roebourne plains grass (Eragrostis xerophila) in the Western Australian rangelands

Page last updated: Wednesday, 21 July 2021 - 2:57pm

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

Roebourne plains grass (Eragrostis xerophila) 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

Roebourne plains grass is an indicator of good pasture condition where dominant. It decreases under heavy grazing pressure.

Forage value

Roebourne plains grass tolerates drought and grazing to some extent. It is a palatable perennial, although livestock tend to preferentially graze annuals before this plant.


Clay soils, heavy loam, gilgais

General description

Roebourne plains grass is a dense, tussocky perennial lovegrass (any grass of the genus Eragrostis is termed a lovegrass) with a butt width of up to 30cm. The leaves are short, soft and mid-green in colour, starting about halfway up the stem. Seed heads are about 10cm long and are a purple shade; the crowded spikelets give the appearance of a herring bone arrangement with ‘bones’ about 1cm long and 3mm wide.

Contact information

Matthew Fletcher
+61 (0)8 9166 4019
Kath Ryan
+61 (0)8 9166 4015

Roebourne plains grass (Eragrostis xerophila) in the Western Australian rangelands