Your gateway to a wide range of natural resources information and associated maps

Victorian Resources Online

Rat’s-Tail Couch

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

Rat's-Tail Couch photos

Scientific Name:Sporobolus mitchellii
Photo: Rat's Tale Couch
Photograph courtesy of
Viridans Biological Databases (external link)

Other Common Names:

Swamp Rat-tail Grass, River Couch, Short Rat-tail Grass, Creeping Sporobolus, Condamine Couch


Native to Australia.

Plant Description:

Tufted or
stoloniferous, perennial grass to 50 cm tall, with flat, slightly rough, dull green leaves 1-10 cm Long and 1-2.5 mm wide; ligule 0.5 mm long, often with longer hairs to the side.

Inflorescence, a narrow spike-like panicle, 2-12 cm long and 3-8 mm wide. Spikelets 2-2.5 mm long, dull, straw coloured or greyish, single flowered.
Occasional on the edges or moist beds of lakes and swamps or along river banks and on floodplains and table-drains in the Wimmera, Mallee and northern plains of Victoria. Often on heavy clay soils or on clay loams where wet.

RegionSalinity ClassWaterlogging Class
Mallee, Loddon Murray, WimmeraS0, S1, S2W1, W2


Similar to the near coastal grass,
Salt Couch (S. virginicus) but less salt tolerant.

    Rat's-Tail Couch Photos

    Rat's Tale Couch - dried plants
    Dried-off patch of Rat's-tail couch in Sea barley-grass
    Photo: A J Brown
    Rat's Tale Couch - flowerheads
    Rat's-tail Couch - flowerheads
    Photo: A J Brown

    Rat's Tale Couch - spike with panicle
    Rat's-tail Couch - flowering spike-like panicles
    Photo: A J Brown

    Rat's Tale Couch - stolons
    Rat's-tail Couch - stolons
    Photo: A J Brown

    Rat's Tale Couch - leaves
    Rat's-tail Couch - leaves
    Photo: A J Brown

Page top