Seeds of South Australia
Tetrarrhena juncea (Gramineae)
Forest Wire-grass
List of species for Tetrarrhena
Click on an image to enlarge it
Seed collecting:
March, November to January
Herbarium region:
Southern Lofty
NRM region:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges
IBRA region
Fleurieu (KAN02)Kanmantoo
 Endangered   (IUCN: )   (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. Juncea from Latin meaning rush-like) leaf-blades curled longitudinally to resemble certain Juncus species
Found only in the southern Mount Lofty Ranges in South Australia, growing in wet open forest. Also found in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.
Native. Very rare in South Australia. Rare in Queensland and Tasmania. Common in the other states.
Plant description:
Rhizomatous perennial grass with much-branched wiry stems often scrambling to 4 m. Leaves spreading, distant or lacking from lower stems, scabrous, glabrous or shortly hairy about the ligule. Leaf blade flat or nearly so, to 80 mm long and 5 mm wide, ligule ciliate, to 0.3 mm long, sometimes with marginal hair-tufts. Inflorescence a spike-like raceme to 7 cm long, often purplish in colour. Glumes subequal, 1.6–3.5 mm long, smooth and glabrous. Lemmas glabrous, obscurely 5–7-nerved, lower sterile lemma about two-thirds length of spikelet, obtuse, hardly keeled, upper sterile lemma and fertile lemma similar, obtuse, keeled. Palea slightly shorter than fertile lemma, often purplish. Flowering between October and January.
Fruit type:
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.