Sago bush (Maireana pyramidata) in the Western Australian rangelands

Page last updated: Tuesday, 21 June 2022 - 9:57am

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Sago bush (Maireana pyramidata) 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

Sago bush is not a reliable indicator of pasture condition because it persists well through droughts and under continuous moderate to heavy grazing. Sago bushes lacking vigour indicates extreme overuse. An increase in the number of sago bush plants can indicate a positive or negative trend, depending on the baseline pasture condition. When pastoral condition is fair, an increase in sago bush relative to other desirable plants can indicate declining condition; however, if pasture condition is poor and the only other plants growing with sago bush are undesirable, an increase in sago bush number and vigour may indicate improving pasture condition.

Forage value

Sago bush is grazed, though it is not a highly preferred forage plant when pasture is in good to fair condition. However, it is a valuable component of the pasture and withstands heavy grazing. 


Various soils

General description

Sago bush is a grey-green compact shrub which can grow to 2 m. It has stiff, angular branches. The leaves are fleshy and less than 5 mm long. The leaves are bluish green and are sparsely covered with very fine, short hairs. The flowers are very small and inconspicuous. The seed is enclosed in a large, conical seed case surrounded by a wavy wing. The fruits are often tinged with pink when young, turning brown at maturity. Sago bush has separate male and female flowers and, in some cases, there are separate male and female plants.

Contact information

Joshua Foster