Seeds of South Australia
Uranthoecium truncatum (Gramineae)
Flat-stem Grass
List of species for Uranthoecium
Click on an image to enlarge it
Seed collecting:
June to August
Herbarium regions:
North Western, Lake Eyre
NRM regions:
Alinytjara Wilurara, South Australian Arid Lands
IBRA regions
Strzelecki Desert (SSD05)Simpson Strzelecki Dunefields
 Least Concern   [undercollected]
Breakaways (STP01)Stony Plains
 Near Threatened   [poorly collected]
Oodnadatta (STP02) 
 Near Threatened   [poorly collected]
Murnpeowie (STP03) 
 Near Threatened   [poorly collected]
Witjira (STP06) 
 Near Threatened   [poorly collected]
Sturt Stony Desert (CHC02)Channel Country
 Least Concern   [poorly collected]
Mann-Musgrave Block (CER01)Central Ranges
 Near Threatened   [poorly collected]
Tieyon (FIN03)Finke
 Near Threatened   [poorly collected]
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 Uranthoecium]
Name derivation:
Uranthoecium from the Greek 'ouranos' meaning vaulted roof and 'thekion' meaning little box; referring to the particular shape of the caryopsis. Truncatum means abruptly cut off.
Found in the north and north-east regions in South Australia,  growing in open grassland, in small depressions on heavy soil plains of the arid and semiarid. Also found in Northern Territory, Queensland and New South Wales. 
Native. Uncommon in South Australia. Rare in New South Wales. Common in the other states.
Plant description:
A low dense grass with several stems, to 15 cm high. Leaves with scattered hairs often seated on tubercles, the sheaths loose, the blades lanceolate, to 6.5 cm long, ligule of long hairs. Inflorescence 7–10 cm long, at first partially enclosed in the uppermost sheath, axis fragile, spikes falling with an attached axis internode. Spikelets 8–10 mm long, 2–4 together in each spike, glabrous. Lower glume 3–4 mm long, truncate, pallid; upper 5 mm long, truncate or notched, the nerves merging near the apex to form 2 keels. Lower lemma sterile as long as the spikelet, keeled upwards with a scaberulous tip; palea 2-keeled, 2-toothed. Upper lemma bisexual, firm to hardened, 7–8 mm long, obscurely 5-nerved; palea 5 mm long, prolonged into a bristle-like tip. Flowering between March and June.
Fruit type:
Pale brown long spike with numerous seeds.
Seed type:
Pale yellow ovoid grain to 3 mm long and 1 mm wide.
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.
Seed viability:
No information available
Seed germination:
No information available
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
3200 (7.2 g)
3000 (6.8 g)
North Western
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.