Species Profile and Threats Database

For information to assist proponents in referral, environmental assessments and compliance issues, refer to the Policy Statements and Guidelines (where available), the Conservation Advice (where available) or the Listing Advice (where available).
In addition, proponents and land managers should refer to the Recovery Plan (where available) or the Conservation Advice (where available) for recovery, mitigation and conservation information.

EPBC Act Listing Status Listed as Vulnerable
Listing and Conservation Advices Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Paspalidium grandispiculatum (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008aaz) [Conservation Advice].
Commonwealth Listing Advice on Paspalidium grandispiculatum (a grass) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2012aq) [Listing Advice].
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan not required, included on the Not Commenced List (1/11/2009).
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans
Federal Register of
    Legislative Instruments
Declaration under s178, s181, and s183 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 - List of threatened species, List of threatened ecological communities and List of threatening processes (Commonwealth of Australia, 2000) [Legislative Instrument].
State Government
    Documents and Websites
NSW:Paspalidium grandispiculatum - profile (NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (NSW OEH), 2013d) [State Action Plan].
QLD:Survey of Threatened Plant Species in South-East Queensland Biographical Region (Halford, D., 1998) [Report].
    Documents and Websites
Biodiversity Recovery Plan for Gatton and Laidley Shires, South-East Queensland 2003-2008 (Boyes, B., 2004).
State Listing Status
NSW: Listed as Vulnerable (Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (New South Wales): December 2013 list)
QLD: Listed as Vulnerable (Nature Conservation Act 1992 (Queensland): May 2014 list)
Scientific name Paspalidium grandispiculatum [10838]
Family Poaceae:Cyperales:Liliopsida:Magnoliophyta:Plantae
Species author B.Simon
Infraspecies author  
Reference Austrobaileya 1 (14 Apr. 1983) 465, fig. 35 (11-19).
Distribution map Species Distribution Map

This is an indicative distribution map of the present distribution of the species based on best available knowledge. See map caveat for more information.

Illustrations Google Images

Scientific name: Paspalidium grandispiculatum

Synonym: Setaria grandispiculata

Paspalidium grandispiculatum is an erect, tufted perennial grass that grows to 1.5 m tall. Rhizomes are woody, robust and elongated. Mid-culm (stem) internodes are hollow, pruinose (powder coated) or glabrous (smooth). Lateral branches are sparsely branched. Leaf sheaths are glabrous on the surface and without a keel (longitudinal ridge). Ligules (thin outgrowth from the base of the grass blade) are ciliate growing to about 1 mm long. Leaf blades are linear, flat or conduplicate, 3.5-10 cm long and 2-4 mm wide, and are glabrous or minutely scabrous on the surface. Compound inflorescences are 8–22 cm-long panicles of 5–8 racemes. Secondary racemes are appressed, 0.5–4.5 cm long and 3–4 mm wide. Each secondary raceme bears 3–8 loose, irregularly arranged spikelets on pedicels to 1 mm long (Jacobs 2004; NSW OEH 2013d; Sharp & Simon 2002; Simon 1982; Simon 2012).

This species occurs from the Mount Neville, Gibberagee and Doubleduke region north-east of Grafton, New South Wales (NSW), to Kingaroy, Queensland (Bean 2001a pers. comm.; BRI collection records undated; NSW OEH 2013d; Queensland CRA/RFA Steering Committee 1998; Sparshott cited in Halford 1998).

Paspalidium grandispiculatum is known to occur at eight separate localities (Queensland Herbarium 2009):

  • 10 km east of Kingaroy (private land)
  • Tarong, border of State Forest (SF) 118
  • Mt Binga 12 km east-south-east of Cooyar (Mt Binga SF)
  • Crows Nest Falls National Park (two collections)
  • 8 km north of Helidon (Lockyer FR)
  • near Lockyer Siding (private land)
  • Beaudesert (exact locality not specified, record 30 years old) (probably private land)
  • Doubleduke SF, north-east of Grafton.


The species is described as “abundant” at the Kingaroy and Cooyar sites, “common” and “large clump” at the Crows Nest sites and “patchy” in the Helidon Hills (Queensland Herbarium 2009).

New South Wales

In NSW, the grass is described as “dominant” in the understorey (Halford 1998). Information on the number of individual plants is lacking, but there are probably many thousands of ramets (clones); the degree of clonality within populations is unknown (NSW OEH 2013d).

While it is known that Paspalidium grandispiculatumcan is locally semi-dominant to dominant in the ground layer, there is a lack of specific habitat information for this species (Boyes 2004; Halford 1998; NSW OEH 2013d).

The soils in which this species grows are generally shallow with a sandy texture, dark in colour, well drained and derived from sandstone rocks (Halford 1998).


In Queensland, the species occurs in mixed forest with Lemon-scented Gum (Corymbia citriodora) on sub-coastal, old loamy and sandy plains (Regional Ecosystem 12.5.1) and mixed open forest often with Brown Bloodwood (Corymbia trachyphloia), C. citriodora, Narrow-leaved Ironbark (Eucalyptus crebra), Broad-leaved Ironbark (E. fibrosa) on quartzose sandstone (Regional Ecosystem 12.9-10.5) (Boyes 2001). The species has also been recorded in and in native pasture occurring as a result of land clearing. The species has been recorded in open-forest communities dominated by White Mahogany (Eucalyptus acmenoides), Brown Bloodwood (Corymbia trachyphloia), Bailey's Stringybark (Eucalyptus baileyana) and Smudgy Apple (Angophora woodsiana) (Sparshott cited in Halford 1998), in wet sclerophyll forest and in native pastures developed by clearing of forest communities (BRI collection records undated; NSW OEH 2013d).

Common understorey species include: Flaky-barked Tea-tree (Leptospermum trinervium), Long-pod Wattle (Acacia complanata), A. julifera, Sweet Bursaria (Bursaria spinosa), Wiry Panic (Entolasia stricta), Kangaroo Grass (Themeda triandra), Variable Sword Sedge (Lepidosperma laterale), Daviesia villifera, Twin-flower Beard-heath (Leucopogon biflorus) and Notelaea linearis (BRI collection records undated). The species is also known to occur in cleared or disturbed areas (Jacobs 2004).

New South Wales

In NSW, Paspalidium grandispiculatum is likely to be restricted to poor sandy soils on sandstone. It has been found in open forest of Turpentine (Syncarpia glomulifera) on undulating topography as well as in drier forest types on ridges. The species can be locally semi-dominant to dominant in the ground layer (NSW OEH 2013d).

The species is known to occur is the following vegetation types in the NSW North Coast bioregion (NSW OEH 2013d):

  • Blackbutt - bloodwood dry heathy open forest on sandstones in the northern parts of the bioregion
  • Needlebark Stringybark - Large-fruited Blackbutt heathy open forest on sandstones in the northern parts of the bioregion
  • Bailey's Stringybark - Needlebark Stringybark heathy woodland on sandstones of the lower Clarence catchment
  • Blackbutt - Turpentine dry heathy open forest on sandstones of the lower Clarence catchment
  • Needlebark Stringybark - Red Bloodwood heathy woodland on sandstones of the lower Clarence catchment
  • Needlebark Stringybark - Turpentine heathy open forest of the lower Clarence catchment.

Paspalidium grandispiculatum is a perennial grass which is assumed to be wind-pollinated (NSW OEH 2013d). It is known to produce flowers and fruits from January to May in Queensland populations (Halford 1998; NSW OEH 2013d). The species reproduces by sexually produced seed and by vegetative budding from the rhizomes (NSW OEH 2013d; Queensland CRA/RFA Steering Committee 1998). The above ground parts of the grass are killed by fire, but it is capable of regenerating from the rhizome (Queensland CRA/RFA Steering Committee 1998). No information is available on seed viability or longevity (NSW OEH 2013d).

Paspalidium grandispiculatum is distinguished from other Australian species of Paspalidium by its large spikelets (3.5–4.5 mm long) and characteristic woody culms arising from robust woody rhizomes (Simon 1982). Most other species of Paspalidium possess contracted rootstocks and sometimes contracted rhizomes but not the elongated rhizomes of P. grandispiculatum (Simon 1982). It is distinguished from the related P. globoideum by the presence of a bristle subtending the spikelet (Holland 2009). The two species overlap in distribution in the Gatton area of Queensland (Holland 2009).

Surveys should be conducted during autumn, when flowering is at a peak, in habitat similar to that in which known records have made. It is recommended that specimens need to be collected to confirm the plant's identity (Holland 2009).

No information is available on any past decline of this species. Distribution is fragmented, probably as a result of both natural and land-use factors (NSW OEH 2013d).

Threats to Paspalidium grandispiculatum include (Boyes 2001; Halford 1998):

  • Destruction of habitat by clearing
  • Habitat disturbance by timber harvesting
  • Inappropriate grazing regimes
  • Inappropriate fire regimes.

Any populations on freehold land are potentially vulnerable to habitat clearance or habitat degradation and grazing by stock (Halford 1998). The main threat to this species in SF 564 (a forest reserve) is burning from wildfires (Cook 2001 pers. comm.).

In NSW, there have been few recent disturbances to Paspalidium grandispiculatum populations, and past logging has been at low levels in the relevant vegetation types. Introduced groundcover species are a possible threat and Lantana occurs in some of the areas in which the species is found. Private or leasehold land adjacent to state forests and national parks in NSW can be subject to regular burning for grazing. Whilst this species has robust rhizomes and may be expected to be fire tolerant, frequent burning may disadvantage the species (NSW OEH 2013d).

Management documents relevant to Paspalidium grandispiculatum are at the start of the profile.

Other documents relevant to Paspalidium grandispiculatum include the Biodiversity Recovery Plan for Gatton and Laidley Shires South-East Queensland 2003-2008 (Boyes 2004).

The following table lists known and perceived threats to this species. Threats are based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) threat classification version 1.1.

Threat Class Threatening Species References
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Agriculture and Aquaculture:Land clearing, habitat fragmentation and/or habitat degradation Notelaea lloydii in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006aax) [Internet].
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Livestock Farming and Grazing:Grazing pressures and associated habitat changes Notelaea lloydii in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006aax) [Internet].
Biological Resource Use:Logging and Wood Harvesting:Habitat loss, modification and degradation due to timber harvesting Notelaea lloydii in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006aax) [Internet].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate and/or changed fire regimes (frequency, timing, intensity) Notelaea lloydii in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006aax) [Internet].

Bean, A.R. (2001a). Personal Communication.

Boyes, B. (2001). Recovery Plan for the Threatened Species and Ecological Communities of Gatton and Laidley Shires South-East Queensland 2001- 2005. Lockyer Landcare Group.

BRI Collection Records (BRI) (undated). Queensland Herbarium specimens.

Cook, B. (2001). Personal Communication.

Halford, D. (1998). Survey of Threatened Plant Species in South-East Queensland Biographical Region. [Online]. Brisbane: Queensland CRA/RFA Steering Committee. Available from:

Holland, A. (2009). Paspalidium grandispiculatum - Species Information Sheet. Provided to the the Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Queensland Herbarium.

Jacobs, S.W.L. (2004). Paspalidium grandispiculatum. PlantNET - The Plant Information Network System of Botanic Gardens Trust. [Online]. Sydney, Australia. Available from:

NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (NSW OEH) (2013d). Paspalidium grandispiculatum - profile. [Online]. Available from:

Queensland CRA/RFA Steering Committee (1998). Survey of Threatened Plant Species in South East Queensland Biogeographical Region. [Online]. Available from:

Queensland Herbarium (2009). Specimen label information.

Sharp, D. & B.K. Simon (2002). AusGrass: Grasses of Australia. ABRS Identification Series [interactive CD ROM]. ABRS/CSIRO Publishing. Melbourne.

Simon, B.K. (1982). New Species of Gramineae from south-eastern Queensland. Austrobaileya. 1(5):455-467.

Simon, B.K. (2012). Paspalidium grandispiculatum. AusGrass2. [Online]. Available from:

EPBC Act email updates can be received via the Communities for Communities newsletter and the EPBC Act newsletter.

This database is designed to provide statutory, biological and ecological information on species and ecological communities, migratory species, marine species, and species and species products subject to international trade and commercial use protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act). It has been compiled from a range of sources including listing advice, recovery plans, published literature and individual experts. While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, no guarantee is given, nor responsibility taken, by the Commonwealth for its accuracy, currency or completeness. The Commonwealth does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage that may be occasioned directly or indirectly through the use of, or reliance on, the information contained in this database. The information contained in this database does not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth. This database is not intended to be a complete source of information on the matters it deals with. Individuals and organisations should consider all the available information, including that available from other sources, in deciding whether there is a need to make a referral or apply for a permit or exemption under the EPBC Act.

Citation: Department of the Environment (2014). Paspalidium grandispiculatum in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: Accessed Wed, 17 Sep 2014 05:51:29 +1000.