From the Latin australis – southern, and also commemorating Etienne Danthoine, a botanist of the late 1700s from Marseilles.
Tufted perennials. Leaves mostly basal, linear-lanceolate, folded in bud, ligule a hairy rim. Sheath margins free. Inflorescences with few flowers, mostly either open or spike-like, characteristically whitish at maturity. Spikelets stalked, separating above the glumes and between the florets, with several bisexual florets, the upper one male or sterile. Glumes more or less equal, long relative to the adjacent lemmas, open at maturity to show the hairy florets. Lemma hairy, the hairs usually in rows or tufts, the tip 2-toothed with a thick flat twisted and bent awn between the 2 bristled teeth. Palea keels rough or hairy. Callus bearded. [Danthonia DC. in part].
Most species have attractive pale, rather fluffy short flower heads. Of the approximately 35 Australian species formerly in Danthonia 28 are now placed in Austrodanthonia. Only 1 species of Danthonia (introduced D. decumbens) occurs in Australia.
Division; occasionally by seed that germinates after about 1 year.
Their ornamental appeal makes them ideal subjects for revegetation projects. Important plants in temperate natural pastures primarily as fodder for sheep; occasionally used in turf.
Distinguished from related genera by the massive callus which is always at least twice as long as the floret stalk cf. Danthonia.
28 species from Australia, New Zealand and Malesia.
Linder & Verboom (1996), Linder (1997).
Source: (2005). Poaceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 5. Flowering plants. Monocotyledons. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.