Grass Group

Grass group                                                       

The grass group is probably the most difficult of all groups in the average garden.  To attract grassland species one would need in excess of a hundred square meters, and then this might not be enough.  In our urban gardens planting grassland serves the purpose of providing nesting material and food. Placing commercial seed mixes on a feeding tray generally attracts introduced species such as house sparrows and rock doves and not the species we would like to see.  Grassland would provide seed to a number of garden species but as the feeding of this is spread and more specialised it will not be dominated by a few species. Although many nurseries sell indigenous grasses it will take many years for them to sufficiently spread. If you do want to create a grassland area in the garden I recommend using Indigi-mix, as it contains a variety of indigenous grass types, the seeds are treated and it will give a dense coverage within a season. It is available from most larger nurseries.

If you are going to plant a large area for the sake of your garden please do not just plant it with grass. All grasslands are interspaced with other species, thus before sowing the seed randomly in the area,  plant small shrubs such as Bushmans Tea (Catha edulis ), bulbs such as orange river lilies (Crinium bulbispermum) or Moores Crinium (Crinium Mooreii) or even a smallish thorn tree, as this will give a natural dimension to the area. One can also add some clumps of grass bought at nurseries to broaden the diversity of grasses. Some of the more useful grasses to plant are:


Golden Bristle Grass (Setaria Spheacelata) –

Also know as South African Pigeon Grass, it tolerates a wide range of soils and is not very drought resistant. It does not mind high rainfall and can tolerate waterlogged soils. It has a high seed yield which makes it attractive to birds.

Broad-leaved Bristle Grass – (Setaria Megaphyla) –

 This grass can be used as a garden ornamental, lining the borders of larger beds where it can be planted in clusters. The grass attracts birds to the garden such as finches or canaries, and is a firm favourite of Green Twinspot and Swee Waxbill.  The leaves are also used by weavers to build their nests.

Broad-leaved Bristle Grass on Plantzafrica

Saw-tooth love grass ( Eragrostis superba) –

This is a perennial grass that grows from the Freestate northwards.  It is very drought resistant and good to combat soil erosion. The attractive inflorescence makes it a beautiful species to plant a garden.

Saw-toothed Love-grass on Plantzafrica


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