Themeda triandra

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Themeda triandra
Themeda triandra - kangaroo grass.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
(unranked): Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Themeda
Species: T. triandra
Binomial name
Themeda triandra

Triandra australis (R.Br.) Stapf [1]

Themeda triandra is a perennial tussock-forming[2] grass widespread in Africa, Australia, Asia and the Pacific. In Australia it is commonly known as kangaroo grass. In eastern and South Africa it is known as red grass and red oat grass, rooigras in Afrikaans. It does not do well under heavy grazing pressure, but benefits from occasional fire.[3]


Themeda triandra is found across Asia, Africa, Australia, and the Pacific region. Within Australia it has a widespread distribution, being found in all of the states and territories.[4] It grows predominantly in grassland and open woodland communities. Within Australia is a significant species in temperate grasslands in Australia, a habitat considered to be endangered or threatened in various parts of the country.[4]


The species has a tufted habit and can reach up to 1.5 metres tall and half a metre across. It flowers in summer, producing large red-brown spikelets on branched stems. The leaves are between 10 and 50 centimetres long, and 2-5 millimetres wide.[4]


The young growth is palatable to stock.[5][6] T. triandra seed has been used as a famine food in Africa.[7] It also serves as a food source for several avian species, including the long-tailed widowbird. It is also occasionally used as an ornamental plant.[4]



  1. ^ "Triandra australis". Australian Plant Name Index (APNI), IBIS database. Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Australian Government. 
  2. ^ Florabank, retrieved 14 October 2016 
  3. ^ 'Grassed up' – Themeda triandra (Kangaroo grass), New South Wales Department of Primary Industries, retrieved 28 October 2016 
  4. ^ a b c d Australian National Botanic Garden. Themeda triandra.
  5. ^ Burbidge, N. T. Australian Grasses. Angus and Robertson Publishers. 1966.
  6. ^ "Animal Feed Resources Information System". 
  7. ^ National Research Council (1996-02-14). "Wild Grains". Lost Crops of Africa: Volume I: Grains. Lost Crops of Africa. 1. National Academies Press. p. 271. ISBN 978-0-309-04990-0. Retrieved 2008-07-18. 

External links[edit]