Queensland bluegrass

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Dichanthium sericeum

CATEGORY: C4  perennial


  • Tufted warm season, perennial to 80cm  tall.  Stem nodes have a prominent ring  of hairs
  • Seedhead is subdigitate, to 7cm long and  with 2-4 erect branches pressed together
  • Spikelets are paired and hairy, with the  lower awned.  Spikelets occur to the base  of the branches (i.e. no bare branch bases)
  • Flowers from late spring to autumn


  • Widespread and common
  • More common on clay soils and sites  that receive extra summer moisture, such as water run-on and flood areas
  • Abundance varies from year to year;  restricted to more favourable sites in dry years, but can become abundant  following a series of wet summers
  • Moderate drought tolerance, but low  frost tolerance


  • Moderate grazing  value
  • Digestibility  ranges from 38-62 %
  • Crude protein 2-7%


  • Highly palatable and nutritious when young  and actively growing; stalky and low quality at flowering
  • Possibly more suited to cattle enterprises  as it appears to be less palatable to sheep, allowing it to become tall and  rank
  • Growth responds well to increased fertility Declines under set stocking systems as cattle selectively  graze it (sheep less so); better suited to rotational grazing
  • Will easily re-establish from seed, so  spell during flowering and seed set to increase or maintain populations


  • The seedhead branches of red grasses (Bothriochloa species) are bare for a  very short distance at the base and the nodes are hairless

(Dense heavily grazed stand:  H Rose)