Backyard Buddies
Seed giving grasses

Photo: Rexness

Seed giving grasses

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Native grasses play an important role in many habitats and they can in backyards too. Native grasses provide shelter from predators for many small creatures like finches and skinks, attract insects for other creatures to eat, and provide food in the form of seeds for many birds and other buddies.

Plant some native seed grasses under trees, shrubs and plants, and in empty areas of your backyard. If you do, you will soon be seeing plenty more butterflies, birds, skinks and other creatures.

There are varieties of native grasses to suit every climate. They are a great addition to your garden and can be easily grown from seed with a little care and patience. Seeds are most successfully germinated in small pots or tubes and covered with a little potting mix, or you can buy the grasses from your local native nursery and plant straight into the ground. 

Some good seed giving grasses include:

Common Wallaby Grass - Danthonia tenuior. This grass will attract finches and other seed-eating birds like rosellas and some parrots. It grows in: Western Australia, Victoria, Tasmania, New South Wales, and South Australia.

Wallaby Grass - Danthonia caespitosa. This grass will attract finches and other seed-eating birds like rosellas and some smaller parrots. It also attracts skinks and wombats.

Weeping Grass also known as Meadow Rice Grass - Microlaena stipoides. This grass provides food for the larvae of many different kinds of butterflies. It will also feed small seed-eating birds such as the Turquoise Parrot. It grows in: eastern Queensland, eastern New South Wales, eastern & southern Victoria, Tasmania, south-eastern South Australia, and south western Western Australia.

Tussock Grass - Poa labillardieri. This grass provides food for butterflies and seed-eating birds, as well as the occasional kangaroo or wallaby. It grows in: Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Australian Capital Territory, Tasmania, and South Australia.

Kangaroo Grass - Themeda australis. This grass provides food and a place to lay eggs for many butterflies. It also feeds seed-eating birds, such as finches and parrots, including the Ground Parrot. It is widespread across Australia.

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Photo: OEH