White grass (Sehima nervosum) in the Western Australian rangelands

Page last updated: Wednesday, 20 July 2022 - 2:57pm

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White grass (Sehima nervosum) 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

White grass is considered an intermediate species in most pasture types, except white grass/bundle-bundle pastures, where it is considered an indicator of good pasture condition and is desirable. It is initially an increaser under heavy grazing, but may decrease under continued or very heavy grazing pressure.

Forage value

White grass is not usually eaten by livestock. It may be grazed if nothing more palatable is around.


Red soils, loams, sandy soils.

General description

White grass is a tufted, erect perennial grass that can grow to 100cm tall, with slender brittle stems. The leaves are up to 30cm long and dry off to give the plant a characteristic white colour when mature. The seed head consists of a single spike that is 6–10cm long and has a rat’s tail appearance. It flowers from February to May.