Woodlands Historic Park
Flora - Grasses and other Ground Flora

Spear Grass seeds waiting for a ride. 56 native grass species have been recorded in the park, including 15 species of Spear Grass.
Spear Grass Seeds in Woodlands Historic Park

Robertson mapped the grassy flora that existed in 1981, independently of the original or existing tree cover. (Unfortunately I do not have permission to reproduce his map). He defined five classes of ground flora according to the most commonly occurring species, and noted that the boundaries between classes coincided with existing fence lines or the remains of old fence lines. All paddocks may have had similar pre-european flora, which has been modified to a varying extent by clearing, different stocking densities and type of livestock, and possible fertilizer application. The most severe modification is due to cultivation.

Note that Robertson's survey did not cover the former Greenvale Sanatorium land or Twin Dams paddock, which were later additions to the park.

Robertson's classes are:

The above classification is of course an oversimplification. Smaller scale variation, such as the patches of Toowoomba Canary Grass which occur in some of the "High diversity Spear Grass/Wallaby Grass" and "Low diversity Kangaroo Grass" areas, is not apparent from a grid based survey like Robertson's. Furthermore, in woodland areas the species growing under trees are quite different from those growing in the open. Robertson made a more detailed study of several woodland plots within the "high diversity themeda" zone, where the open areas were dominated by Kangaroo Grass but under dense tree canopies the dominant species were winter-growing grasses including Wallaby Grasses, Weeping Grass and alien species such as Rye Grass and various Brome Grasses. (On the former Sanatorium Land, the most common alien grass in heavy shade is Panic Veldt Grass.) Robertson found a third and more diverse species mix in what he called the halo area, stretching 2 to 5 metres from the edge of the canopy. This was dominated by Wallaby Grasses and Spear Grasses, with Red Leg Grass and the weed Rat's Tail Grass also noted as significant.