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
23 Sep 2014
Visitors to East Gippsland’s Snowy River National Park this school holidays will marvel at the park’s recovery as they are able to gain access to Raymond Creek Falls for the first time since the devastating fires in February this year. District Manager, Will McCutcheon said over 80 per cent of…
22 Sep 2014 12:00am - 5 Oct 2014 12:00am
Drop in and pick up your explorer pack from the Mansion with activity sheets, magnifying glass and pencil. Complete the activities and return the pack to collect some Junior Ranger goodies. Activities are available every day of the school holidays.
22 Sep 2014 12:00am - 3 Oct 2014 12:00am
Parks Victoria’s Discovery program is designed to encourage kids and adults to explore Victoria’s parks with a ranger. Whether it’s discovering mini beasts through a microscope, learning about creatures’ tracks and traces and their habitats, or discovering the fascinating life beneath the sea during a rock pool ramble, kids will…
30 Sep 2014 10:00am-12:00pm
Join a ranger for an adventure along the Maribyrnong River where you will find tiny creatures that live in the river. These minibeasts are fascinating creatures, and we can use them to see how healthy the river is. Healthy rivers and creeks are essential to keep the plants and animals…
30 Sep 2014 10:30am-12:00pm
Learn about the differences between renewable versus non-renewable energy. What was the State Coal Mine black coal actually used for? How was it used to make energy? Children will be able to construct a kite, decorate it and fly it on top of the mullock heaps after learning about the…