|Scientific Name:||Rostraria cristata|
Annual Cat's-tail flower-head
Photo: A J Brown
Native to the Mediterranean but widely naturalised.
A small, slender, tufted annual grass to 60 cm high but often less than 15 cm. Leaves are softly hairy and flat, to 20 cm long and 8 mm wide but often much smaller. Flower-head is a contracted, oblong to ovate, panicle of 1-8 cm long with 2-6 flowered spikelets. Outer glumes or bracts of the spikelets are slightly unequal in size; the lower being 1-2.5 mm long and the upper 2-3 mm long. The lemma (inner flower bract) is 2-3 mm long with a fine and straight awn or bristle, 1-3 mm long.
Widespread in drier areas of Victoria but also on near-coastal sands. Often common on seasonally wet freshwater and saline swamp and lake margins.
Superficially similar to other small annual grasses with contracted panicles, such as Avellinia (Avellinia michelii) and Annual Fog (Holcus annuum).