Buttongrass moorland (Gymnoschoenus sphaerocephalus) Overland Track, Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park
Buttongrass moorland (Gymnoschoenus sphaerocephalus), Overland Track (photograph: Luke O'Brien)


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Buttongrass is a large, tussock forming sedge (grass-like plant) that grows predominantly in wet, nutrient-poor organic soils. It can be found extensively throughout the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (TWWHA.)  Buttongrass forms large areas of moorland where it is often the signature species; these moorlands cover over 1 million hectares in Tasmania.  Buttongrass is a very flammable plant, but is specially adapted to fire and recovers quickly after a fire event.  Frequent fire events deplete the nutrients in the soil and remove plants that are less adapted to fires, allowing buttongrass to continue to thrive in these environments.  However, fire events that occur when these environments are too dry can not only burn the vegetation, they can also burn the organic soils, causing long-term damage.​​​​​

​Common name: Buttongrass

Scientific nameGymnoschoenus sphaerocephalus​

​Best place to see it​