Common Australian Garden Weeds

Axonopus compressus

Scientific name: Axonopus compressus (Swartz) Beauv.

Axonopus compressus (broad-leaved carpet grass) growing in a garden and showing the prostrate (creeping) habit of this species.

Close-up of broad-leaved carpet grass demonstrating the broad leaves and short hairs at the nodes of the stem.

Another close-up showing the adventitious roots of this species.

Sub-digitate inflorescence of broad-leaved carpet grass emerging from a leaf sheath.

Seedling of broad-leaved carpet grass.

Synonyms: Milium compressum Swartz; Paspalum platicaulon Poiret, (also misspelt platycaule); Paspalum compressum (Swartz) Raspail

Common name:Broad-leaved carpet grass

Family: Poaceae


Native of tropical America.


Perennial creeping (stoloniferous) grass forming low mats, with erect seed heads up to 60 cm tall (although usually much shorter).


Widespread common weed in fine-leaf lawns, gardens and shaded areas (otherwise a useful pasture and lawn grass).

General description:

Stems and leaves
Plants have hairy nodes and produce runners (stolons) which readily produce roots. Leaf sheaths are somewhat flattened, either hairy or hairless. Ligules consist of a hairy rim. The leaf blades are rather broad for a grass, linear to narrowly egg-shaped (linear ovate), 2-16 x 0.3-2 cm in size, with a blunt tip and hairy margins.

Flowers and fruit

Inflorescences usually have 2-3 (sometimes there are up to 5) slender racemes (2-10 cm long) at the top of an erect or inclined stalk up to 60 cm long. They are digitately or almost digitately (sub-digitately) arranged. Seeds are enclosed in bracts (ie. lemma and palea).

Distinguishing characteristics:

Short broad leaves with tubercular hairs (ie. with wart-like swelling at the base). Nodes are hairy unlike those of Axonopus fissifolius (narrow-leaved carpet grass). As the common names suggest, the leaves of Axonopus compressus are also usually broader than those of Axonopus fissifolius.

Noxious status:

Not noxious.


Auld, B.A. and Medd, R.W. (1996). Weeds: An Illustrated Botanical Guide to Weeds of Australia. Inkata Press, Sydney.

Kleinschmidt, H.E., Holland, A. and Simpson, P. (1996). Suburban Weeds. 3rd Edition. Department of Primary Industries, Brisbane.

Stanley, T.E. and Ross, E.M. (1983-1989). Flora of South-eastern Queensland. Volume 3. Department of Primary Industries, Brisbane.