|Common Name(s)||Forest Bluegrass, Burnett Bluegrass|
A tufted, perennial, warm season grass which may reach 1.5m in height. Inflorescences reddish-purple in colour. Leaves glaucus or green.
Forest Bluegrass is highly regarded by a significant number of graziers we encounter who operate on heavy forest soils. However, the increasing presence of exotic Bothriochloa species and subspecies (B. insculpta, B. pertusa, B. bladhii subsp. glabra) is leading to confusion around identification and accurate observation of pasture performance attributable to various species and cultivars. The fodder value of B. bladhii was noted in the Queensland Department of Primary Production publication, Flora of South-eastern Queensland, Vol. 3 (Stanley and Ross, 1989).
In contrast to the exotic Bothriochloa insculpta and Bothriochloa pertusa cultivars now present in Australia, B. bladhii subsp. bladhii will mainly flower in the hotter months from December through to May. Another introduced grass, Bothriochloa bladhii subsp. glabra flowers from April to May. It is unusual to see pitted spikelets in B. bladhii subsp. bladhii however in the case of the subspecies glabra we note, "Sessile spikelets always pitted, 3–3.5 mm long subsp. glabra" (Simon, B.K. & Alfonso, Y. 2011. AusGrass2). Furthermore we observe that the inflorescence of B. bladhii subsp. glabra is strongly scented and this can be noted at a fair distance when approaching a dense stand of the grass. By comparison, the infloresences of B. bladhii subsp. bladhii produce little or no scent. We note some common variants of B.bladhii subsp. bladhii over a wide area including blue leaved forms. Bothriochloa bladhii subsp. bladhii is heavily utilised in rehabilitation works owing to its wide distribution, its high ecological and grazing value.
Northern NSW, widespread in Qld in the coastal to semi-arid parts, NT in the northern parts and near Alice Springs. Also the far north of WA.
Simon, B.K. & Alfonso, Y. 2011. AusGrass2, http://ausgrass2.myspecies.info/ [accessed on 25th June, 2019].
Stanley, T.D. & Ross, E.M. (1989). Flora of South Eastern Queensland, Vol. 3, Queensland Department of Primary Industries, Brisbane.