Andropogon virginicus L.
whisky grass, broomsedge
This is a tall grass to 1m which is branched, erect and perennial (living more than 1 growing season). It grows in tufts and is distinguished by having very erect central stems surrounded by drooping leaves around the base which are dry/brown or green.
Leaves have a hairy ligule (appendage between leaf blade and stem). Leaf blades may be flat or folded with a hairy upper surface towards the base.
Inflorescence (group of flowers/fruit) is elongated and narrow. Seed is surrounded by white hairs giving the seedhead a fluffy appearance.
Other plants easily confused with this plant
It could be confused with the native kangaroo grass (Themeda australis, also called Themeda triandra). Kangaroo grass turns reddish brown while whiskey grass becomes straw-coloured over winter. Kangaroo grass has tall non hairy seedheads on long bare stems growing from the base, whereas whisky grass has branched seed heads with white hairs surrounding the seed.
Sources & References
"Plantnet Flora Online" (2005) http://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/
"Weeds - an illustrated botanical guide to weeds of Australia" by B. A. Auld and R. W. Medd
Prepared by Justin KY Chu, July 2005
Checked by IEWF, Oct 2005
Checked by Barbara Wiecek, Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney, June 2006