Creeping and matting grass to 0.3 m that roots at the nodes. Can form a thick ground cover in shaded areas.

Widespread in forests in moist and shaded areas.

Leaves lance-shaped with wavy margins to 3 cm.

Leaves with ligule around 3 mm long, membranous at the base, dividing into cilia; blade 4-18 mm wide, sprinkled with fine hairs, midrib very narrow, whitish on the lower surface, 10-15 fine nerves either side of it.

Photo: Robert Whyte

Flower spike

Flowers most of the year with flower spikes to 30 cm. Has brown hairy ‘beard’.

Host plant for the Lilac Grass-skipper and the White-brand Grass-skipper and other butterflies.

Bearded flower spike. Photo: John Abbott