Seeds of South Australia
Tetrarrhena distichophylla (Gramineae)
Hairy Rice-grass
List of species for Tetrarrhena
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Seed collecting:
November to March
Herbarium region:
South Eastern
NRM region:
South East
IBRA regions
Mount Gambier (SVP02)Southern Volcanic Plain
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)
Glenelg Plain (NCP02)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)
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 Tetrarrhena]
Name derivation:
Tetrarrhena from the Greek 'tetra' meaning four and 'arrhen' meaning male, referring to the 4 anthers which is unusual in the Poaceae. Distichophylla from the Greek 'distichos' meaning two rows and 'phyllon' meaning a leaf, referring to the leaves which are conspicuously arranged in two rows.
Found only in the lower South-east in South Australia, growing in open-forests on sandy soils. Also found in Victoria and Tasmania.
Native. Very rare in South Australia. Common in the other states.
Plant description:
Rhizomatous perennial grass often mat-forming with ascending stems to 50 cm high. Leaves spreading to erect, distichous, usually hairy. Leave blade flat or inrolled, to 12 cm long and 6 mm wide, ligule ciliate to 0.5 mm long with marginal hair-tufts to 2 mm long. Inflorescence an erect, spike-like raceme to 4 cm long, pale green. Glumes subequal, 0.5–1.8 mm long, variably covered with short, stiff hairs.. Lemmas generally hairy or scabrous along the 5–7 slightly raised nerves, sterile lemma from one-third to one-half length of spikelet, obtuse, dorsally rounded, upper sterile lemma obtuse to acute, fertile lemma subequal to upper sterile lemma but more strongly keeled. Palea slightly shorter than fertile lemma. Flowering between October and February.
Fruit type:
Small, short pale brown spike.
Embryo type:
Seed collecting:
Use hands to gently strip seeds off the mature seed spike that are turning straw colour. Mature seeds will come off easily. Alternatively, you can break off the whole seed spike.
Seed cleaning:
Place the seeds/spike in a tray and leave to dry for two weeks. No further cleaning is required if only seed collected. If seed spikes collected, use hand to strip off the mature seeds. 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.