Arrhenatherum elatius var. bulbosum (Willd.) Spenn.

False Oat-grass

Fl. Friburg 1: 113 (1825) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Naturalised

Slender, tufted perennial to 150 cm high, nodes usually glabrous; roots yellowish. Leaves glabrous or with scattered hairs; blade to 40 cm long and 10 mm wide; ligule truncate, membranous, 1–3 mm long. Inflorescence a slender, erect or drooping panicle; lower glume 1-nerved, c. 5–6 mm long, upper glume 3-nerved, 8–10 mm long, shorter than or equal to lemmas; lemmas subequal, 7-nerved, 8–10 mm long, firmer than glumes, glabrous or with scattered hairs, the lower one with awn 10–20 mm, the upper quite awnless, or with a subapical bristle, or rarely, with a geniculate awn to 10 mm long attached above midway; palea slightly shorter than lemma. Flowers Nov.–Feb.

*EGU, *GipP, *Glep, *Gold, *HNF, *HSF, *NIS, *OtR, *Strz, *VAlp, *VVP, *WaP. Naturalised in all states except NT. An occasional weed mainly of fertile, cultivated soils in higher-rainfall areas of the State.

All Victorian occurrences of this species supported by herbarium specimens at MEL are referable to Arrhenatherum elatius var. bulbosum, which is distinguished from the nominate variety in having hairy nodes and the basal internodes swollen and corm-like. These swellings separate readily on disturbance and are able to regenerate anew, making the grass difficult to eradicate. The nominate subspecies (including a striking variegated form) was formerly grown for ornament but does not appear to have become naturalised.

Source: Walsh, N.G. (1994). Poaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 2, Ferns and Allied Plants, Conifers and Monocotyledons. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2018-10-29
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Distribution map


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Arrhenatherum elatius var. bulbosum in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Arrhenatherum elatius var. bulbosum in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Glenelg Plain present naturalised
Victorian Volcanic Plain present naturalised
Gippsland Plain present naturalised
Warrnambool Plain present introduced
Goldfields present introduced
Northern Inland Slopes present naturalised
East Gippsland Uplands present introduced
Highlands-Southern Fall present naturalised
Highlands-Northern Fall present introduced
Otway Ranges present introduced
Strzelecki Ranges present naturalised
Victorian Alps present naturalised

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory