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Austrostipa scabra ssp. falcata
A medium -sized tussock grass with fine, somewhat wispy foliage. In early summer, shining pink flowerheads emerge above the foliage, a very attractive feature of the species. The infloresecences in the picture have reached this stage of maturity. The long, fine awn (projection from the top of the seed)of each seed coils loosely as the seed matures and ripens to a mid brown. This species somewhat resembles the serious introduced environmental weed, Serrated Tussock *Nassella trichotoma although the tussock is finer and more upright and the spreading inflorescence of Serrated Tussock holds short rounded seeds.
In the Merri Creek valley this species is typically found on the exposed cliff tops, areas experiencing constant wind and breezes intensified by topography.
Austrostipa scabra ssp. falcata colonizes disturbed soil very readily. Prolific seed set is to be expected in the first 3 years. Vigour of the plant may then subside unless it is rejuvenated through cutting or burning the tussock to the ground.
The seeds of this species, in common with other Spear Grasses, are extremely sharp pointed. These seeds may be a hazard to dogs where the seed may work its way into the skin.
Austrostipa scabra ssp. falcata germinates very freely at any time of the year when given water and a small amount of protection. Best germination time is from late winter to the end of spring.
This is one of the easiest Austrostipa species to germinate.