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Curly Windmill-grass

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Curly Windmill-grass photos

Scientific Name:Enteropogon acicularis
Photo: Curly Windmill Grass
Photograph courtesy of Viridans Biological Databases

Other Common Name:

Large Windmill Grass, Spider Grass


Native to all mainland States of Australia.

Plant Description:

Tussocky, perennial grass, to 50 cm high and 30 cm diameter, with bluish-green, rough, flat leaves (up to 20 cm long and 6 mm wide), that are hairless or with occasional hairs, and characteristically curling when dry. Windmill-like flower-head consisting of 7 – 15 spikes, stiffly spreading from the tip of the stalk in several different planes, the spikes 5 – 18 cm long. Each spikelet has 2 – 3 narrow-lanceolate (spear-like), awned florets, the lower with an awn 9 – 15 mm long. Spikelets usually turn purplish at maturity. Flowering mainly spring – autumn.


Widespread and common on all soils from sandy loams to clays, especially in areas which have been lightly grazed.

RegionSalinity ClassWaterlogging Class
Mallee, Loddon Murray, Central and Northern, Wimmera S0, S1, S2W0, W1


There are several grasses with similar windmill-like flower-heads. Curly Windmill-grass and
Windmill-grass tend to occur as individual tufted plants and have large flower-heads with many spikes and have awned florets, whereas Couch Grass (Cynodon dactylon) spreads along and through the ground by stolons and rhizomes (often forming mats), has up to 6 spikes only and its florets are awnless. Windmill-grass (Chloris truncata), unlike Curly Windmill-grass, has truncate (or flat-topped) florets.

Curly Windmill-grass Photos

Curly Windmill-grass
Curly Windmill-grass tussock and maturing flower-heads
Photo: A J Brown
Curly Windmill-grass
Curly Windmill-grass spikelets clustered along spikes
Photo: A J Brown

Curly Windmill-grass
Curly Windmill-grass digitate (finger-like) spikes
Photo: A J Brown

Curly Windmill-grass
Curly Windmill-grass tussock and fresh flower-head
Photo: A J Brown
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