Plants of the Castlemaine District

Plume Grasses - natives (Dichelachne crinita and D. hirtella)

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plume grass plume grass plume grass plume grass

Natives. Perennials. C3.

Plume grasses are moderately common in local bushland.


Plume Grasses resemble small spear grasses. Plume grasses differ from spear grasses in that the glumes have a single vein, and there are two small teeth at the apex of the lemma, (at the awn base). The awns of plume grasses are at first straight. As they age the awns develop bends.

Long-hair Plume-grass (Dichelachne crinita) has awns that are not hairy (but may be minutely rough). Hairy Plume-grass (D. hirtella) has awns with hairs about 0.25mm long.

The common names, "long hair' and 'hairy' refer to the appearance of the flower clusters with slender awns.

dichelos: a split, achne: chaff, referring to the two teeth at the lemma summit. hirtella: minutely hairy.

1. Long-hair Plume-grass. The awns are still straight. 2: Long-hair Plume-grass lemma and awn. One of the teeth can be seen at the base of the awn. 3: Hairy Plume-grass lemma and awn. 4,5: Long-hair Plume-grass with twice-bent awns.