Stylidium graminifolium: is a member of the Stylidiaceae family and is known as the Grass-leaved Triggerplant.
Stylidium graminifolium is a tufting, dwarf perennial herb (lacking woody stems).
Leaves are up to 10 centimetres long, 0.3 centimetres wide, linear, spreading to erect, and greyish-green with a prominent midrib.
Flowers are about 1.3 centimetres across and carried in 15 centimetre long clusters on long stalks. Each stalk carries between 10-50 flowers. Blooms may be white or pale to bright pink. They appear from August to January.
The Grass-leaved Triggerplant occurs naturally on Yallaroo. The species is widely distributed and is found in all mainland states and Tasmania.
Some years ago we came across a population of Stylidium graminifolium in the alpine country near Mount Buffalo, northern Victoria. The flowers, in this population, were dark pink, almost red.
All Triggerplants have a unique pollination mechanism. Both anthers and stigma are combined in a sensitive column. When an insect lands at the base of the column it acts like a trigger and hits the insect on the back. This action transfers pollen onto the back of the insect. When the insect visits another Triggerplant the pollen is transferred and cross-pollination is accomplished. The trigger may be activated by touching the centre of the flower with a piece of grass. After a few minutes the trigger resets and awaits the arrival of another insect or grass-bearing human. Please refer to our description of Stylidium laricifolium where there is a stylised diagram with the column depositing pollen onto an insect.
The drawing is taken from a very interesting book: Triggerplants by Douglas W. Darnowski and is published by Rosenberg.
Stylidium graminifolium would be an interesting addition to native cottage gardens and rockeries. The species also takes kindly to cultivation in containers.
Propagate from untreated seed which usually begins to germinate 30-50 days after sowing.