Slender rats tail grass or native parramatta grass

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Sporobolus creber

CATEGORY: C4  perennial


  • Tufted, warm season perennial grass  to 80cm tall
  • Leaves are pale green, largely  hairless, quite tough and waxy.  Ligule  has a hairy rim
  • Seedhead is a long, narrow,  spike-like panicle to 40cm long.  The  short branches are pressed against the main stem and the main stem is visible  along much of its length
  • Flowers from spring to summer


  • Tends to be more prevalent in years  with good summer rain
  • Found on different soil types  depending on moisture availability.  In  higher rainfall areas it is more common on lighter, well drained soils.  In drier areas, it is more common along sandy  creek-lines or on heavy clays of the plains
  • Generally found in native pastures or  sown pastures that have reverted back to native species and is very quick to  colonise bare patches
  • Moderate drought tolerance, but frost  sensitive


  • Moderate grazing  value
  • No nutritional  figures available.  Those given are for  the extremely similar S. elongatus
  • Digestibility  ranges from 47-63 %
  • Crude protein  4.8-12.4 %


  • Usually a minor component of pastures.  However, on lighter textured, low fertility  soils it can become abundant in good rainfall years (usually where it is set  stocked)
  • A mostly summer/autumn growing species that frosts off during  winter.  The amount of green leaf carried  is usually low and very dependent on summer rainfall
  • Low to moderate yielding and shows little response to  increased fertility
  • It has moderate palatability and digestibility when young and  leafy, but rapidly produces stout, fibrous stems during the growing season that  makes it unpalatable
  • Favoured by set stocking if more desirable species are  present, as it will be sparingly grazed by stock.  As stocking rates increase, it will also  become more abundant as ground cover diminishes

Similar plants:

  • There are no similar species
Slender rats tail grass
Slender rats tail grass
Slender rats tail grass