Seeds of South Australia
Austrostipa blackii (Gramineae)
Crested Spear-grass
List of species for Austrostipa
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Seed collecting:
November to January
Herbarium regions:
Flinders Ranges, Eastern, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, South Eastern
NRM regions:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
IBRA regions
SUMMARY
Lucindale (NCP03)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   (Probable Decline)   [heavy soils; edge of range]
Tintinara (NCP04) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [Gum Lagoon CP]
Fleurieu (KAN02)Kanmantoo
 Least Concern
Mount Lofty Ranges (FLB01)Flinders Lofty Block
 Least Concern
Broughton (FLB02) 
 Least Concern
Olary Spur (FLB03) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [Grazing by goats a threat]
Southern Flinders (FLB04) 
 Least Concern
Northern Flinders (FLB05) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [scarce here; suspected decline]
Central Flinders (FLB06) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [scarce here; suspected decline]
Southern Yorke (EYB01)Eyre Yorke Block
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
St Vincent (EYB02) 
 Least Concern   (Probable Decline)
Eyre Hills (EYB03) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Talia (EYB04) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Eyre Mallee (EYB05) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Murray Mallee (MDD02)Murray Darling Depression
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [edge of range]
Wimmera (MDD05) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Myall Plains (GAW01)Gawler
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Gawler Lakes (GAW03) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
IBRA regions
DISPLAY ALL
2 of 4 subregionsNaracoorte Coastal PlainRare
Fleurieu (KAN02)KanmantooLeast Concern
6 of 6 subregionsFlinders Lofty BlockLeast Concern
, Rare
5 of 5 subregionsEyre Yorke BlockLeast Concern
, Rare
2 of 6 subregionsMurray Darling DepressionRare
2 of 8 subregionsGawlerRare
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 Austrostipa]
Name derivation:
Austrostipa from the Latin 'auster' meaning south and the genus Stipa; referring to the genus being allied to Stipa but restricted to Australia. Blackii named after John McConnell Black (1855–1951), a Scottish born South Australian botanist and author of The Flora of South Australia.
Distribution:
Found in the southern part of South Australia, from the Gammon Ranges to the upper South-east, growing in open forest and woodland, grassland on sandy loam to clay loam. Also found in Western Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.
Status:
Native. Uncommon in South Australia. Rare in Western Australia and Tasmania. Common in the other states.
Plant description:
Tufted perennial grass to 1.2 m with culms unbranched. Leaves (at least the lower ones) distinctly pubescent with blade expanded to inrolled to 30 cm long and 5 mm wide. Inflorescence an open panicle to 30 cm long with spreading branches and bulging purplish glumes. Flowering between August and November.

Key to this species: awn twice bent with coma, inflated glumes, short hooked callus, long spreading coma hairs (2-5 mm), sheath pubescent

Fruit type:
Deep reddish or golden brown lemma to 7.5 mm long, stout, slightly to distinctly constricted near the apex with a tuberculate surface covered with slightly spreading white or golden hairs, coma with long dense spreading hairs longer than those of the body of the lemma, callus short and hooked to 2.5 mm long, awn sometimes slightly eccentric and twice bent, palea about equal to lemma. 
Seed type:
Yellow-brown fat ellipsoid grain to 4 mm long within the lemma.
Embryo type:
Lateral.
Seed collecting:
Use your hands to gently strip the seeds (lemma) off the mature fruiting spike, those that are turning golden brown. Mature seeds will come off easily compare to the immature seeds that remain on the spike. Alternatively, you can break off the whole fruit spike to allow some of the seeds to mature further.
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:
Viability of grass seeds could be very viable, depending on time of seed collections and seasonal conditions. From one collection, the seed viability was low, at 15%.
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
BGA 
MSB
8500 (29.35 g)
8500 (29.35 g)
100+22-Nov-2005DJD204
Northern Lofty
9-Aug-200615%-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.