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
20 Jul 2016
Lake Charlegrark is once again safe for water sports, swimming and fishing, Parks Victoria Area Chief Ranger Mark Urquhart said today. “Blue green algae has been present in this popular destination for 18 months, resulting in public health warnings for people and pets against contacting or ingesting the water,” he…
24 Jul 2016 11:00am-2:00pm
Join Friends of Steele Creek, Wurundjeri's Narrap Team and Parks Victoria for a community tree planting day at Steele Creek in Lower Maribyrnong River Land Park. Please wear appropriate clothing and closed shoes/boots. Bring your own water and gloves. Light refreshments are provided. Enter from: Warrick Court, Avondale Heights; Lily…
14 Aug 2016 10:00am-3:00pm
Join PrimeSCI!; the LabRats Student Science Club for a day of fun hands on science activities. 'Young scientists' learn to identify and monitor local species of birds, frogs, koalas, ants and freshwater invertebrates. Or hear from researchers from Westernport Biosphere, Platypus Education Group and other presenters in the wetlands observatory.
25 Sep 2016 9:00am-11:00am
Loop track maintenance. Morning tea provided.
25 Sep 2016 10:30am-1:30pm
The historic site will be open to the public as part of the Activities in the Park program supported by the City of Greater Shepparton. Come along to take a tour of the best preserved 19 century flour mill in Victoria and learn more about its history. The mill is…