Open grassland species not uncommon on heavy basalt-derived soils. Flower heads are robust and 'chunky' looking, with spikelets enclosed within large straw-coloured glumes. Mature florets provide useful identification (see photos), with body of lemma turning golden brown (thus, Brown-backed Wallaby Grass). Lemma row of hair above callus (middle row) is variably complete, often hairs sparse across centre of the lemma surface. Awn strongly twisted and shining bronze colour.