Woollybutt grass (Eragrostis eriopoda) in the Western Australian rangelands

Page last updated: Tuesday, 20 February 2024 - 3:02pm

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Woollybutt grass (Eragrostis eriopoda) 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

Where dominant, woollybutt grass can indicate fair to poor pasture condition. While moderately palatable to livestock, the plant is generally considered to be an intermediate species in the Kimberley because it is short-lived. It is considered a desirable species in the Pilbara and in the arid short grass pastures of the Kimberley.

Forage value

Woollybutt grass is moderately palatable to livestock when green but has little bulk and dries off quickly.


Pindan, light soils. Woollybutt grass is found on a variety of soils but is more common on lighter soils.

General description

Woollybutt grass is a densely tufted perennial grass that can grow to 15–40cm tall with a bulbous woolly base. The many stems are branched with hairless joints (nodes). The open seed heads are 9–20cm long and are tinged purple. The seeds on the seed head are in spikes 1–2cm long and contain up to 20 paired seeds.