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 Mar 2017
Parks Victoria is seeking public feedback on a draft concept plan to upgrade a section of Middle Brighton Pier after regular monitoring identified the middle section of the pier, which was built in 1938, will require replacement within the next few years. The concept plan will focus on the replacement…
14 Jan 2017 - 17 Apr 2017
The Herring Island Summer Arts Festival 2017 presents a series of 4 exhibitions, by: Association of Sculptors of Victoria Basketmakers of Victoria Contemporary Art Society of Victoria A4 Art Australia The Gallery on Herring Island will be open every weekend from 14 January through 17 April, including Australia Day holiday…
3 Apr 2017 - 16 Apr 2017
Parks Victoria’s Discovery program encourages children and adults to explore Victoria’s parks with a ranger. Programs include a range of interactive and fun activities. Highlights of the Term One School Holiday Program at the Prom include opportunities to: Meet a modern day lighthouse keeper to discover the history of Wilsons…
3 Apr 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…