Seeds of South Australia
Austrostipa eremophila (Gramineae)
Desert Spear-grass
List of species for Austrostipa
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Seed collecting:
October to January
Herbarium regions:
North Western, Nullarbor, Gairdner-Torrens, 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
 Data Deficient   [check records]
Lucindale (NCP03) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [arid spp.]
Tintinara (NCP04) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [arid spp. Old records]
Fleurieu (KAN02)Kanmantoo
 Least Concern   [can be confused with A flavescens]
Mount Lofty Ranges (FLB01)Flinders Lofty Block
 Least Concern   [can be confused with A flavescens]
Broughton (FLB02) 
 Least Concern
Olary Spur (FLB03) 
 Least Concern
Southern Flinders (FLB04) 
 Least Concern
Northern Flinders (FLB05) 
 Near Threatened
Central Flinders (FLB06) 
 Least Concern   [typical sp here]
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) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   (Probable Decline)   [arid spp. edge of range]
Lowan Mallee (MDD04) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i))
Braemer (MDD07) 
 Least Concern
Murray Scroll Belt (RIV06)Riverina
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))
Myall Plains (GAW01)Gawler
 Least Concern
Gawler Volcanics (GAW02) 
 Least Concern
Gawler Lakes (GAW03) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Kingoonya (GAW05) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Yellabinna (GVD06)Great Victoria Desert
 Least Concern
Nullarbor Plain (NUL02)Nullarbor
 Least Concern
Yalata (NUL03) 
 Least Concern
Hampton (HAM01)Hampton
 Least Concern
Barrier Range (BHC01)Broken Hill Complex
 Least Concern
Bimbowrie (BHC05) 
 Least Concern
Breakaways (STP01)Stony Plains
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Baltana (STP07) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Mann-Musgrave Block (CER01)Central Ranges
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
IBRA regions
DISPLAY ALL
3 of 4 subregionsNaracoorte Coastal PlainRare
, Data Deficient
Fleurieu (KAN02)KanmantooLeast Concern
  [can be confused with A flavescens]
6 of 6 subregionsFlinders Lofty BlockLeast Concern
, Near Threatened
5 of 5 subregionsEyre Yorke BlockLeast Concern
5 of 6 subregionsMurray Darling DepressionLeast Concern
, Rare
Murray Scroll Belt (RIV06)RiverinaRare
  (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))
4 of 8 subregionsGawlerLeast Concern
, Rare
Yellabinna (GVD06)Great Victoria DesertLeast Concern
2 of 3 subregionsNullarborLeast Concern
Hampton (HAM01)HamptonLeast Concern
2 of 4 subregionsBroken Hill ComplexLeast Concern
2 of 7 subregionsStony PlainsRare
Mann-Musgrave Block (CER01)Central RangesRare
  (IUCN: RA d(ii))
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. Eremophila from the Greek 'eremos' meaning desert and 'phileo' meaning to love; referring to the Sandy Desert where the type specimen was collected from, though the species is found in woodland, shrubland and mallee from the Western Perth cross to Melbourne.
Distribution:
Found in the southern part of South Australia, from the Nullarbor to the lower South-east in South Australia, growing in mallee, grassland, shrubland, open forest and woodland on sand, loam or clay. Also found in Western Australia, New South Wales and Victoria.
Status:
Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other states.
Plant description:
Tufted perennial grass to 1 m high with culms unbranched and nodes densely sericeous. Leaves glabrous to finely pubescent with blade mostly tightly inrolled to 30 cm long and 4 mm wide when unrolled. Inflorescence dense panicle at first then becoming lax and sparse to 30 cm long with purplish glumes to 23 mm long, the lower glume to 25 mm long. Flowering between August and November.

Key to this species: awn twice bent with coma, panicle contracted with short open branches, glumes narrow straight, callus long fine straight, lemma with dense shining golden hairs and conspicuous sparse short hairs patch at the apex 

Fruit type:
Burgandy-orange lemma to 9 mm long, evenly tapered to the base and covered in dense shining golden hairs with a conspicuous patch below the apex which is either glabrous or sparsely covered by much shorter hairs, coma with hairs similar length as those on the lemma, callus long fine and straight to 4 mm long, awn twice bent to 10 cm long and column pubescent with hairs to 0.4 mm, palea about equal to lemma with dense silky-hairs along the centre line.
Seed type:
Yellow-brown narrow ovoid grain to 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 burgandy-orange. 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 25%.
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
BGA 
MSB
5500 (10.52 g)
5500 (10.52 g)
100+22-Nov-2005DJD205
Northern Lofty
9-Aug-200625%-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.