Victorian Resources Online - Your gateway to a wide range of natural resources information and associated maps

Victorian Resources Online

Common Blown-grass

Back | Salinity Indicator Plants Home | Common name home | Scientific name home | Photo Gallery | Glossary

Scientific Name:Lachnagrostis filiformis (syn. Agrostis avenacea)
Common Blown Grass
Common blown grass
Photo: A J Brown

Common Blown Grass close
Common blown grass - panicle
Photo: A J Brown

Photo:  Common Blown-grass
Photograph courtesy of Viridans Biological Databases (external link)

Other Common Name:

Fairy Grass


Native to Australia, New Zealand and Polynesia and introduced into western USA. Can be a nuisance species when occurring in large populations on moist lake and swamp beds when the detached, mature inflorescences, blown by the wind, mass against fences, in farm sheds and around house and gardens.

Plant Description:

annual to perennial grass to 80 cm tall with loose basal tufts (or sometimes stoloniferous in waterlogged conditions); leaves generally flat and 1-2.5 mm wide but may inroll on drying, to 25 cm long and smooth to slightly rough; ligule membranous, 2-8 mm long, obtuse but soon shredded.

Inflorescence a green or slightly purplish, broad, open but weeping panicle to 20 cm long with long slender branches and often remaining enclosed by the upper leaf sheath until late maturity. Panicles detach from the plant when mature and are readily blown away by the wind


Spikelets small (2.5-4 mm long) on individual fine stalks but clustered towards the ends of the panicle branches; each spikelet with a single, slightly to moderately hairy floret with a very fine, bent awn or bristle attached to its mid-back region and visible beyond the tip of the spikelet.

RegionSalinity ClassWaterlogging Class
Loddon Murray, Central and Northern, WimmeraS0, S1W1, W2, W3
Western, GippslandS0, S1, S2W1, W2, W3


Occurs across a wide variety of habitats wherever soil is moist to wet e.g. roadsides, drains, swamps, lake edges, including slight to moderately saline conditions.

This species is the most common of the Blown-grasses but can often be found growing in association with a number of other species in saline situations e.g. Salt Blown-grass, Adamson’s Blown-grass, Purple Blown-grass. The different species can be difficult to tell apart for the non-expert.

A simplified key to some of the species on salt-land can be accessed here - Blown-grass species key.

Related Link

The Australian Society of Agronomy: Biodiversity and potential utilisation of blown-grasses (Agrostis spp.) in lowland Victoria (external link)

Back to Top