At Booyong we are slowly working through the species list in an effort to identify and learn the native species on the property (these are listed on our website if you’re interested in taking a look).
Throughout the grasslands of Booyong you will come across native sedges with masses of brightly coloured red seeds. This is Gahnia Aspera, a very sharp bladed grass that grows in clumps of up to 1 metre high. Its commonly known as red fruited saw sedge as the blades of grass have finely toothed edges and can cut your hands. Our caretaker Bob has removed some from the cabin gardens for this reason. They are about the property so please be sure the children are careful!
This grass is commonly found along the coast from South Eastern NSW to Queensland and survive in a variety of habits including rainforest and wet sclerophyll forest. The brightly coloured reddish/brown seeds attract birds such as brush turkeys. They are very hard and unable to be crushed with teeth so are eaten whole. Nuts were also historically pounded by indigenous people to make flour.
As a garden plant, this grass is drought tolerant and considered to be a suitable grass for revegetation projects, although it wouldn’t be recommended for home gardening if you have young children about.
According to Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants the Gahnia Aspera is a food plant for the larval stages on different kinds of Skipper Butterflies.