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
12 Aug 2016
All things fishy are being celebrated in Warrnambool this weekend, with marine volunteers across the state gathering at Deakin University for the third Sharing the Love forum. Friends of Merri Marine Sanctuary and Parks Victoria are hosting the event, which celebrates and supports community involvement in Victoria’s marine national parks…
17 Sep 2016 9:00am - 18 Sep 2016 4:00pm
The 10 Annual Kooyoora Wildflower Show is on September 17 and 18 at the Inglewood Eucalyptus Museum. Gates open at 9am each day and close at 4pm. $5 entry for adults with children U18 free. The event includes static wildflower displays, twice daily guided bus tours to Kooyoora State Park,…
19 Sep 2016 9:00am-10:30am
Brilliant Birds - PrimeSCI! activity for Prep - Year 2 students. Work in the field and identify our unique native birds. Record their numbers and find out if they are common or rare. Most importantly, understand their needs to survive and how they can be protected.
19 Sep 2016 9:00am-10:30am
PrimeSCI! activity for years 3-6. Become a palaeontologist for the day! What can fossils show us about the diet of dinosaurs? Why did they have claws? Lesson includes a tour of the Victorian Polar Dinosaur display in the Coolart Homestead.
19 Sep 2016 11:00am-12:30pm
PrimeSCI! will show you how to build a nest box for the birds of Coolart Wetlands & Homestead Reserve. Parents welcome to come along. Learn all about bird habitats and the need for nest boxes. All ages welcome!