Seeds of South Australia
Austrostipa drummondii (Gramineae)
Cottony Spear-grass
List of species for Austrostipa
Click on an image to enlarge it
Seed collecting:
October to February
Herbarium regions:
Nullarbor, Flinders Ranges, Eastern, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, South Eastern
NRM regions:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Alinytjara Wilurara, Eyre Peninsula, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
IBRA regions
SUMMARY
Bridgewater (NCP01)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [limestone pavements; edge of range]
Lucindale (NCP03) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [limited habitat]
Tintinara (NCP04) 
 Near Threatened
Fleurieu (KAN02)Kanmantoo
 Near Threatened   [limestone sp.]
Mount Lofty Ranges (FLB01)Flinders Lofty Block
 Near Threatened   [limestone sp; managed in coastal reserves]
Broughton (FLB02) 
 Least Concern
Olary Spur (FLB03) 
 Least Concern
Southern Flinders (FLB04) 
 Least Concern
Northern Flinders (FLB05) 
 Near Threatened   (Probable Decline)   [grazed by goats]
Central Flinders (FLB06) 
 Least Concern
Southern Yorke (EYB01)Eyre Yorke Block
 Least Concern
St Vincent (EYB02) 
 Least Concern
Eyre Hills (EYB03) 
 Least Concern
Talia (EYB04) 
 Least Concern
Eyre Mallee (EYB05) 
 Least Concern
South Olary Plain (MDD01)Murray Darling Depression
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [edge of range]
Murray Mallee (MDD02) 
 Least Concern
Murray Lakes and Coorong (MDD03) 
 Near Threatened   [limestone pavements]
Lowan Mallee (MDD04) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))
Murray Scroll Belt (RIV06)Riverina
 Least Concern
Myall Plains (GAW01)Gawler
 Least Concern
Gawler Volcanics (GAW02) 
 Least Concern   [northern limit, no recent records]
Gawler Lakes (GAW03) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Yellabinna (GVD06)Great Victoria Desert
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Nullarbor Plain (NUL02)Nullarbor
 Least Concern
Yalata (NUL03) 
 Least Concern
IBRA regions
DISPLAY ALL
3 of 4 subregionsNaracoorte Coastal PlainNear Threatened
, Rare
Fleurieu (KAN02)KanmantooNear Threatened
  [limestone sp.]
6 of 6 subregionsFlinders Lofty BlockLeast Concern
, Near Threatened
5 of 5 subregionsEyre Yorke BlockLeast Concern
4 of 6 subregionsMurray Darling DepressionLeast Concern
, Near Threatened
, Rare
Murray Scroll Belt (RIV06)RiverinaLeast Concern
3 of 8 subregionsGawlerLeast Concern
, Rare
Yellabinna (GVD06)Great Victoria DesertRare
  (IUCN: RA d(ii))
2 of 3 subregionsNullarborLeast Concern
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. Drummondii named after James Drummond (1786-1863), a Scottish born botanist and naturalist who was the curator of the government gardens in Cork, Ireland and an early settler in Western Australia.
Distribution:
Found in the southern part of South Australia, growing in a wide range of habitats on rocky, sandy and sandy loam soils in grassland, mallee and shrubland. Also found in Western Australia, New South Wales and Victoria.
Status:
Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other states.
Plant description:
Tufted annual or perennial grass to 1 m high with culms unbranched and nodes pubescent and hidden by the broad sheaths. Leaves densely pubescent with blade rather stiff, not pungent, flat to slightly inrolled, to 20 cm long and 6 mm wide, sheaths stout and loose around the densely pubescent culm. Inflorescence a dense spreading panicle to 40 cm long with the base partly concealed by the uppermost leaf-sheath with purple glumes to 12 mm long. Flowering between September and December.

Key to this species: awn falcate (curved bristle at right angle to the column), lemma narrow and needle-like, column hairs 0.3-1.5 mm long

Fruit type:
Dark brown linear-ellipsoid lemma to 7 mm long sometimes with a slight constriction just below apex and a finely granular surface covered in white hairs, often sparse toward the apex, callus to 2.5 mm long, awn falcate to 90 mm long with the column slender, densely pubescent with hairs to 1.5 mm long, palea slightly shorter than lemma with a sparse line of hairs down the centre.
Seed type:
Yellow-brown narrow ellipsoid grain to 3.5 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 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 high, at 100%. 
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
BGA 
MSB
5200 (5.22 g)
5200 (5.22 g)
40+29-Nov-2005DJD256
Murray
9-Aug-2006100%-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.