Seeds of South Australia
Polypogon tenellus (Gramineae)
Native beard-grass
List of species for Polypogon
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Seed collecting:
October to November
Herbarium region:
Yorke Peninsula
NRM region:
Northern and Yorke
IBRA region
Southern Yorke (EYB01)Eyre Yorke Block
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D2)
Talia (EYB04) 
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D2)   [possibly introduced, from WA]
RSCA map:
Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion. Please click the thumbnail map.
AVH map:
Australian distribution map (external link)
SA Census:
Census of South Australian plants (external link)     [genus Polypogon]
Name derivation:
Polypogon from the Greek 'polys' meaning many and 'pogon' meaning beard; referring to the hairy panicle. Tenellus meaning small, delicate, tender; alluding to its habit.
Currently only known from the lower part of Yorke Peninsula in South Australia. Also found in Western Australia.
Native. Very rare in South Australia. Common in Western Australia.
Plant description:
Small erect annual grass to 15 cm tall. Looks similar to the introduced coast beard-grass (Polypogon maritimus), differ by the number of awns on the lemma. Plant green turning red as it matures.
Fruit type:
Reddish heads to about 3 cm at the terminal.
Seed type:
Pale brown seeds with 3 awns, central awn longer than the two side awns.
Embryo type:
Seed collecting:
Collect heads that are reddish in colour. Run your fingers gently thorugh the heads and collect only those that come off easily. These will contain the mature seeds.
Seed cleaning:
No cleaning is required if you collected the seeds by running your fingers through the heads. Store the seeds with a desiccant such as dried silica beads or dry rice, in an air tight container in a cool and dry place.
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
13500 (2.59 g)
13500 (2.59 g)
Yorke Peninsula
Jun-201085%+5°C, -18°C
Location: BGA — the seeds are stored at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens, MSB — the seeds are stored at the Millennium Seed Bank, Kew, England.
Number of plants: This is the number of plants from which the seeds were collected.
Collection location: The Herbarium of South Australia's region name.
% Viability: Percentage of filled healthy seeds determined by a cut test or x-ray.
Germination table:
DateResultT0T50Pre-treatment | Germination medium | Incubator: Photoperiod / Thermoperiod
May-1094%14 d20 d
1% agar with 250 mg/L gibberellic acid (pH 6.5);
Incubated under winter conditions
May-1092%20 d48 d
1% agar with 100 mg/L potassium nitrate;
Incubated under spring/autumn conditions
May-1088%27 d41 d
1% agar with 250 mg/L gibberellic acid (pH 6.5);
Incubated under spring/autumn conditions
May-1088%14 d27 d
1% agar with 100 mg/L potassium nitrate;
Incubated under winter conditions
May-1080%14 d27 d
1% agar;
Incubated under winter conditions
May-1066%27 d48 d
1% agar;
Incubated under spring/autumn conditions
Result: Maximum percentage of germination observed.
T0: Number of days before first germinant observed.
T50: Number of days to achieve 50% germination.
Pre-treatment: The initial treatment that the seeds received prior to placement on germination media.
Germination medium: The substrate that seeds were placed on for the duration of the germination experiment.
Incubator conditions:
Photoperiod: The duration of light exposure that the seeds were subject to during a 24 hour period.
Thermoperiod: The constant or diurnal temperatures that seeds were subject to during a 24 hour period.
Winter conditions: 15°C 20 h (3am→11pm); 5°C 4 h (11pm→3am) / 10 h light (8am→6pm); 14 h dark (6pm→8am)
Spring/Autumn conditions: 22°C 12 h (8am→8pm); 10°C 12 h (8pm→8am) / 12 h light (8am→8pm); 12 h dark (8pm→8am)
Summer conditions: 30°C 14 h (6am→8pm); 15°C 10 h (8pm→6am) / 14 h light (6am→8pm); 10 h dark (8pm→6am)