Wire grass (Eriachne obtusa) in the Western Australian rangelands

Page last updated: Friday, 9 July 2021 - 3:59pm

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

Wire grass (Eriachne obtusa) 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.

Common names

Wire grass, Northern Wanderrie grass.

Indicator value

Wire grass is an indicator of fair to poor pasture condition where it is dominant. It is considered to be an intermediate species. It seems to be an increaser in above-average rainfall years.

Forage value

Wire grass is sometimes eaten by livestock when it is young but becomes coarse and unpalatable when mature.


Pindan, various soils

General description

Wire grass is a slender, erect, tufted perennial grass that can grow to 60cm tall, with a thickened hairy base. The stems are very fine. The leaves are stiff and flat, and about 5–10cm long. The seed head is 4–8cm long and is open with several fine branchlets bearing a few silky-haired seeds.