Grassland plant diversity

Chrysocephalum semipapposum
Chrysocephalum semipapposum (RP)

Clustered Everlasting

This is a clump-forming perennial herb with numerous stems from the base and leaves to 2.5 cm long and 2 mm wide. Bright yellow daisy flower head clusters, to 3.5 cm across, form at the ends of erect stems up to 60 cm high.

Chrysocephalum apiculatum
Chrysocephalum apiculatum (RP)

Common Everlasting

This has similar flower heads to Clustered Everlasting but they are to 1.5 cm across on stems to 20 cm high. It has woolly stems and leaves to 4 cm long and 1 cm wide.

Leptorhynchos squamatus
Leptorhynchos squamatus subsp. squamatus (MF)

Lanky Buttons

This is a perennial herb with wiry, shiny red-brown flowering stems to 30 cm high. The leaves are to 3 cm long and 4 mm wide on the lower stem and decrease in size up the stem. The daisy flower heads are bright yellow, and shaped like a cup with flowers drooping over the sides.

Xerochrysum viscosum
Xerochrysum viscosum (MF)

Sticky Everlasting

This is a short‑lived perennial herb with erect stems to 50 cm or more high, and leaves to 6 cm long and 5 mm wide. Each stem produces a bright yellow daisy flower head that is surrounded by stiff, papery bracts.

Convolvulus angustissimus
Convolvulus angustissimus subsp. angustissimus (RP)

Australian Bindweed

This is a perennial herb with a woody rootstock, and trailing, slender stems. Its leaves are to 2.5 cm long and 1 cm wide, and usually have two short lobes towards the base. The pink flowers are broadly funnel‑shaped and up to 2 cm in diameter.

Wahlenbergia species
Wahlenbergia species (RP)

Native bluebells

These are slender, erect annual or short-lived perennial herbs with blue flowers made up of 5 or 6 lobes spreading from a short tube. Yellowish Bluebell (Wahlenbergia luteola) and Tall Bluebell (Wahlenbergia stricta) have larger flowers (about 2 cm in diameter) than the other species.

Ngunnawal people ate the flowers of all Bluebell species.
Triptilodiscus pygmaeus
Triptilodiscus pygmaeus (RP)

Austral Sunray

This is an annual herb less than 10 cm high, with hairy leaves to 20 mm long and 4 mm wide. Each stem ends in a globular, yellow daisy flower head 5-6 mm across.

Daucus glochidiatus
Daucus glochidiatus (MF)

Australian Carrot

This is an erect annual herb usually less than 25 cm tall. Its leaves are divided into segments each about 1-2 mm wide. The flowers and fruits occur on the ends of short stalks arising from the same point (like the rays of an umbrella), in clusters of up to six. The fruits are 3-5 mm long with a row of short bristles along each rib.

Pimelea curviflora
Pimelea curviflora var. sericea (RP)

Curved Riceflower

This is a herb-like perennial with hairy stems usually less than 30 cm high. The leaves are 6-15 mm long and less than 5 mm wide, and often slightly hairy. The greenish yellow flowers occur in small heads in the axils of the leaves. Each flower is about 7 mm long, and tubular in shape with four small lobes at the tip.

Linum marginale
Linum marginale (RP)

Wild Flax

This is a slender perennial herb with erect stems to 50 cm tall, and leaves to 20 mm long and 3 mm wide. The pale blue flowers have five petals each to about 1 cm long, and form loose clusters at the ends of the stems.

Ngunnawal people used the stems to make string for fishing lines and nets, and collected and ate the seeds.
Luzula densiflora
Luzula densiflora (RP)


This is a tufted, perennial herb. Its grass-like leaves with densely hairy margins grow mostly from ground level. The flowers occur at the ends of erect stems to 30 cm tall, in small, mostly stalked clusters with one or two leaf‑like bracts. Other small grass-like plants, include sedges and rushes, can be common in the grassland but are easily overlooked.

Ngunnawal Plant Use

Ngunnawal Plant Use provides information on the native plants of the ACT region and their many Ngunnawal uses.

The ACT’s traditional owners, the Ngunnawal people, used and continue to use the plant resources of this region for food, medicine, tools and weapons, fire, ceremonial purposes, water, fibre, dye and paint.

The robust, full-colour, A5, spiral-bound, 96-page field guide includes:

  • an introduction to Ngunnawal history and natural resource use
  • a guide to using the book
  • descriptions and photos of 69 plant species, including their Ngunnawal use, distribution, and method of propagation
  • further reading and references

Read more on the ACT Environment and Planning Directorate website.

Photographers: MF = Murray Fagg; RP = Rosemary Purdie


ACT Parks and Conservation Friends of Black Mountain Molonglo Catchment Group   ACT Government This project was supported with funding made available by the ACT Government under the ACT Heritage Grants Program.