Plants perennial, cespitose.Culms 30-100 cm tall, erect, lowest internode 0.9-2.1 mm thick, 1-2 nodes exposed, glabrous, internodes usually pubescent.
Leaves chiefly basal; sheaths striate, smooth, glabrous; auricles 0.2-0.5 mm long; ligule 0.2-0.5 mm, truncate; basal blades 6-21 cml ong, 1.5-3.9 mm wide, minutely and densely scabrous on both surfaces, upper surface with 10-16 veins.
Inflorescence spikelike, erect, 2.5-7.5 cm long, with 9-17 spikelets; rachis antrosely hairy, terminating, prolonged 0.5-2.8 mm beyond the base of the distal spikelets; middle internodes 2-3 mm long; disarticulation below the florets.
Spikelets (5)11-18 mm long, solitary, tangential to the rachis, strongly divergent to reflexed, with 3-8 florets.
Glumes 8-9 mm long, 3-5-veined, tapering into short, sharp points. Lemmas lanceolate, 7-13 mm long, hairy, tips sharply acute to awned, awns to 5 mm long. Paleas glabrous between the veins, keels coarsely ciliate, cilia 0.25-0.5 mm long, tips separated by 0.25-0.5 mm. Anthers 1.3-3.8 mm long.
Chiefly on black, fertile soils flats, often on swampy land.
Australia: NSW (NT, ST); Victoria, Tasmania.
New Zealand: Introduced and established. North Island - Hawkes Bay; South Island - Central Otago.
2n = 14
Henwood, M.J. and C.M. Weiller. 2009. Australopyrum, Flora of Australia 44A: 107-110. ABRS/CSIRO, Melbourne, Australia.
Jacobs, S.W.L., R.D.B. Whalley, and D.J.B. Wheeler. 2009. Grasses of New South Wales, ed. 4. University of New England, Armidale, New South Wales, Australia.