Below the dam wall grows a large patch of a wild, long, wind-blown, grass-like plant with large black-brown seed heads.  It’s intimidating in some ways – the perfect hide-out for snakes and other creatures I’d rather avoid.   I walk around it, and never through it.  Always, it grabs my attention because there is something beautiful about this wildness.

A month or two ago, we had a friend stay with us. Her son is knowledgeable about Australian Native grasses, so she took a seed head home with her for him to identify.  Given he didn’t have a sample of the leaves or other parts of the plant, he could only say it was a Gahnia of some sort.   Looking at the VicVeg website for Gahnia species that grow in Corangamite, I’ve narrowed it down to a best guess of Gahnia clarkei, or Tall Saw-sedge.  While it may turn out to be one of the other Gahnia species, I have selected the Tall Saw-Sedge because it is evergreen, and the other Saw-sedge plants seem to dry out into yellow leaves.  Ours has always had green leaves.

The Tall Saw-sedge  is native to Australia, and likes to grow in damp, boggy ground.   This would explain why it grows below the dam wall, and also indicates that perhaps our dam water is seeping through the wall.

These photographs were taken in November 2013 – before I had the Macro lens – so I don’t have a close-up of the seeds. However, you will get a sense of the grace in the mess of long sharp leaves, and weeping seed heads.

Gahnia with fallen branch
Depending on the time of year, the leaves can be waist-high or longer, and the seed heads are chest high.
Gahnia Seed head
The contrast of the dark seed heads against the bright green leaves of the Saw-Sedge is striking.