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
15 Aug 2017
Parks Victoria is offering a unique business opportunity for the provision of a floating food and beverage businesses, as part of a new trial on the Yarra River over summer, aimed at testing new opportunities to boost Melbourne’s connection with the Yarra River.The trial will test the viability of floating…
20 Aug 2017 9:00am-3:00pm
Enjoy a day in the outdoors, connecting with nature and helping koalas in the You Yangs Regional Park and the Western Plains near Melbourne. You will search for koalas, take walks through bushland with naturalists and remove weeds and plant trees for koala habitat, in the company of a highly…
20 Aug 2017 9:30am-11:30am
A steady 3km climb to windy saddle. This track is a credit to Parks Victoria's tracks crew. Come along and be amazed at the effects of nature and engineering ingenuity, enjoy good company and of course the morning tea.
27 Aug 2017 7:30am-12:30pm
Peak Adventure is excited to bring you PAWS, the Peak Adventure Winter Series at Lysterfield Park. Keep motivated, fit and healthy this winter by joining us for either an off-road triathlon, or an off-road duathlon. The triathlon includes a 7km paddle, a 20km MTB, and an 8km trail run. The…
27 Sep 2017 3:00pm-4:00pm
This historical tour provides a unique opportunity to view a cave that is rarely open to the public and is part of the same cave system as the Royal and the Fairy show caves. Lit only by solar-powered pathway lights, you are provided with a helmet and headlight to view…