Grasslands are dominated by perennial, mostly tufted or tussock-forming grasses and occur on the vast, undulating western volcanic plains, the northern alluvial plains and in Gippsland.
They frequently lie over heavy soils which become waterlogged in winter but dry and crack in summer.
While trees and shrubs are only occasionally present, they are floristically rich, not only in grasses but also in colourful plants from the orchid, daisy, pea and lily families that flower in spring and early summer.
More about grasslands
- Kangaroo grass is dominant south of the divide, wallaby grass and spear grass abundant in the north
- Many form ephemeral flooded native meadows in winter
- Soil dries rapidly in summer
- Support rare animals, adapted to changeable environment e.g. the Bush Stone-curlew, Eastern Barred Bandicoot and Striped Legless Lizard
- Aboriginal people used fire to maintain the open nature of the grasslands, stimulate the growth of useful plants and attract animals for hunting
- European settlers found that the expansive grasslands provided good grazing and were easy to convert to cropping and improved pasture.
Less than one per cent of original grasslands remain, in small remnant patches with low viability. These patches are threatened by:
- Weed invasion
- Infrequent fire regimes that inhibit growth of diverse flowering herbs
- Altered nutrient levels that favour weed growth.
Where to see grasslands
04 Oct 2017
One of Victoria’s most elusive and endangered animals has been caught on camera in the Grampians National Park.The Brush-trailed Phascogale, a small nocturnal marsupial that is listed as a threatened species, was spotted by a Parks Victoria monitoring program.Cameras have been set up to catch a glimpse of the critter,…
15 Sep 2017 8:00pm - 31 Oct 2017 9:30pm
This play is set in the 19 century and based on the true story of the Chirnside family. Brothers Thomas and Andrew Chirnside came out from Scotland to Australia in 1839. Told by two fictitious characters, Maggie, the head maid and Mr Duncan the butler, you will be transported to…
7 Oct 2017 8:00pm - 31 Oct 2017 9:30pm
An enthralling night as you journey through the rustic old farm at Werribee Park. Filled with history and comedy and plenty of scares as the evil creature Black Anny haunts the farm.
13 Oct 2017 8:00pm - 28 Oct 2017 9:30pm
An exciting roaming play performed in the Werribee Park Mansion that combines history, scary elements and loads of comedy.
18 Nov 2017 4:00pm-9:00pm
The inaugural festival will bring together keen runners for an undulating 10km or half marathon. A mixed trail event offering road, gravel tracks, sand and steps combined with stunning twilight views of the national park and surrounding waters.