Red Grass

© Shem Compion


Red grass (Themeda triandra)


Red grass reaches a length of up to 1.5 m with leaf blades of 8 mm. It is a tufted perennial. Its inflorescence is a false panicle, hanging downward with spikes formed in a V-shape. During summer the grass is palatable, but towards winter it turns hard, brittle and red.

Red Grass Uses

Red grass indicates veld that has good soil and is in a healthy condition. It is fire resistant and multiplies when the veld burns regularly, if not overgrazed.

Red Grass Habitat

Red grass occurs throughout southern and East Africa, and in many other parts of the world. It can grow in any soil type but prefers clay soil. This grass grows well in undisturbed open grassland and bushveld where there is high rainfall. It is usually found 1300 to 3000 m above sea level.

Red Grass Flowers

This grass flowers from October to July.

Field Notes

Red grass is fed upon by many bird species and is nutritious to livestock. It is therefore a valuable grass species to farmers. It is commonly known as rooi gras, in South Africa, meaning red grass in Afrikaans.

Grass Varieties in South Africa

There is more to grass than your normal garden grass varieties in South Africa - although grass is the most common, overlooked plant in the ...more