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Microlaena stipoides - (Labill.) R.Br.

Common Name Weeping rice grass
Family Poaceae
USDA hardiness 8-10
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Damp grassland, heath, woodland and forest; widespread in damper lowlands of southern Australia. On the northern tablelands of NSW it is found particularly in shaded high fertility areas, whereas in Victoria, Australia it also occurs on unshaded slopes under grazing.
Range Distributed in South Africa, Sri Lanka, Philippines, New Guinea, Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Half Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Microlaena stipoides Weeping rice grass

Microlaena stipoides Weeping rice grass
Harry Rose wikimedia.org


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Microlaena stipoides (Labill.) R.Br. is a synonym of Ehrharta stipoides Labill.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Microlaena stipoides is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.2 m (0ft 8in) at a fast rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 9.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid and neutral soils and can grow in very acid and saline soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Microlaena stipoides (Labill.) R.Br. is a synonym of Ehrharta stipoides Labill.

Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Seed
Edible Uses:

A relative of rice. The flour has much higher protein levels - it was 22%, compared with only 9% for rice, 12–14% for hard wheats, and up to 18% for high-protein hybrid maize varieties. Carbon Farming Solutions - Staple Crop: balanced carb (The term staple crop typically refers to a food that is eaten routinely and accounts for a dominant part of people's diets in a particular region of the world) [1-1]. In production although yields are low or unreported.

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

None Known

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

A high quality grass in late spring, summer and early autumn for grazing cattle. It produces high quality feed (10 to 27% crude protein). Of greater pastoral importance in woodlands of Tasmania and South Australia. Developed for low maintenance lawns - variety (‘Griffin’). Good habitat and seed for native birds. An ornamental in rockeries or under trees.

Special Uses

Carbon Farming

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Industrial Crop: Starch  Management: Standard  Under Development

Climate: Mediterranean, warm temperate. Humidity: semi-arid. Prefers moist well drained soils that are moderately to highly fertile, in semi-shaded areas. Mean annual rainfall: 200-2250mm. Mean annual temperature: 9-20 °C. Mean max. temperature of the hottest month: 15-41 °C. Mean min. temperature of the coldest month: -1-9 °C. Altitude: 0-1200 metres. Moderately drought tolerant. Tolerates frosts in the 0° to -5°C range. Tolerates salt-laden coastal winds. Grows on clay loam or loam, sandy loam, sandy clay loam soils. Soil pH: acidic (less than 6.5). Soil depth: moderate to deep (30-100 cm or greater). Short-lived less than 15 years. Growth rate: fast. Root system: shallow and spreading. Shade tolerance: tolerates partial shade. Carbon Farming Solutions - Cultivation: under development. Management: standard (Describes the non-destructive management systems that are used in cultivation) [1-1].

Carbon Farming

  • Industrial Crop: Starch  Materials and chemicals include bioplastics, paper, cardboard, solvents, paints, glues etc. Plants are usually pods, starchy fruits, nuts & seeds, starchy trunks.
  • Management: Standard  Plants grow to their standard height. Harvest fruit, seeds, or other products. Non-Destructive management systems.
  • Under Development  Plant breeders are actively working to domesticate these plants for cultivation, but they are not yet commercially available as crops. Examples include most of the perennial cereal grains.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Plant Propagation


Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Weeping grass, Meadow Ricegrass, Varieties: Griffin, Burra, Ovens, Bremmer, Tasman.

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Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Australia (New South Wales, Lord Howe Is., Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia); India; Indonesia (Jawa, Lesser Sunda Is., Sulawesi, Papua); New Zealand (South Is., North Is., Chatham Is., Kermadec Is.); Papua New Guinea; Philippines; South Africa (KwaZulu-Natal); Sri Lanka.

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

A perennial tufted grass which is common in moist and wet habitats. It invades disturbed sites rapidly.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : Status: Least Concern

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


Expert comment


(Labill.) R.Br.

Botanical References

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