|Common Name(s)||Native Millet|
"Perennial, densely tufted, mostly up to 90 cm tall, sometimes taller, usually pale glaucous-green; culms mostly simple, nodes glabrous to densely hairy." (Stanley,T.D, and Ross, E.M. (1989))
Many enquiries arise for the seed of Panicum decompositum however its availability is limited and, in most cases, the taller Panicum queenslandicum is offered as a substitute with superior qualities for mine site rehabilitation. P. decompositum from our observation tends to colonise on the heaviest soils, clay loams or alluviums, where there is persistent moisture. A nearby example consists of some of the deepest, heavy, black, self-mulching soils in Australia on a stock route where grazing is limited. Here, in the bottom of a long ditch which can be seasonally water-logged for many kilometres, grows P. decompositum as the dominant or only grass species. Adjacent to this on higher, drier ground are sizeable areas where P. queenslandicum is dominant or sometimes codominant with Dichanthium sericeum. Although we don’t make hard conclusions without experimentation, a strong inference can be made that P. decompositum will have difficulty on typically saline-sodic mine spoils where low rainfall and significant slopes further limit water availability to very low levels. In contrast, P. queenslandicum has proven to germinate, grow and produce seed in such dry conditions near Emerald in Queensland. The salinity of these spoils at the root zone is shown to decline over decadal periods of time and the hope is that such introductions will persist and improve over time.
Panicum decompositum is quite leafy and its palatability to stock is recorded. "Produces a good bulk of highly palatable feed after heavy summer rains or flooding." (Department of Primary Industries, NSW). More information in regard to the characteristics of P. decompositum as stock feed are available at the link below.
Widespread over most of the Australian continent. Absent on the Nullarbor Plain and southern most WA.
Stanley,T.D, and Ross, E.M. (1989). Flora of South Eastern Queensland, Volume 3.