Seeds of South Australia
Austrostipa macalpinei (Gramineae)
One-year Grass
List of species for Austrostipa
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Seed collecting:
December to February
Herbarium regions:
Eyre Peninsula, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern
NRM regions:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, South East
IBRA regions
Lucindale (NCP03)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   (Probable Decline)   [lack of fire a threat]
Tintinara (NCP04) 
 Near Threatened   [occurs after fire; abundant in Messent CP]
Kangaroo Island (KAN01)Kanmantoo
 Near Threatened   [fire responsive sp.]
Fleurieu (KAN02) 
 Near Threatened   [fire responsive sp that lives for 1 season after fire]
Mount Lofty Ranges (FLB01)Flinders Lofty Block
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D2)   [(no records) annual, distinctive; fluctuates; likes disturbance on sand; collected recently in Sandy Ck; comes up after fire]
Eyre Hills (EYB03)Eyre Yorke Block
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [likes fires]
Talia (EYB04) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [likes fires]
Eyre Mallee (EYB05) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [likes fires]
Lowan Mallee (MDD04)Murray Darling Depression
 Near Threatened   [comes & goes with disturbance; lifespan 1-2 yrs; disappears between fires]
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. Macalpinei name after Daniel McAlpine (1849-1932), a Scottish born Australian government vegetable pathologist and author of Plant Diseases in Australia.
Found on the Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, southern Mount Lofty Ranges and the South-east in South Australia growing on sand and limestone in heathland, mallee and heathy woodlands. Also found in Western Australia and Victoria.
Native. Uncommon in South Australia. Rare in Victoria. Common in Western Australia.
Plant description:
Tufted perennial but often acts as an annual grass, appearing after fires; to 90 cm high, with erect unbranched culms  with glabrous nodes, usually hidden by the sheaths. Leaf-blades flat to inrolled, to 20 cm long an 9 mm broad, pubescent; sheaths with dense hollow shining transparent flexuose hairs. Inflorescence a contracted dense panicle to 45 cm long, the base of the panicle often concealed by uppermost leaf-sheath; awns v long to 20cm; glumes to 23 mm long; light green, sometimes toothed just below apex, the lower up to 12 mm longer than upper. Flowering between October and January.

Key to this species: awn falcate (curved bristle at right angle to the column); lemma narrow and needle-like;, awn very long and straight 100-200 mm; sheaths with dense hollow shining transparent flexuose hairs; annual fire species

Fruit type:
Straw-coloured linear-elliptic lemma to 8 mm long, with a smooth surface and covered in long white-straw coloured hairs; callus long to 3.5 mm; awn very long straight to 200 mm long.
Seed type:
Yellow-brown narrow-ellipsoid grain to 3 mm long within the lemma.
Embryo type:
Seed collecting:
Use your hands to gently strip the seeds (lemma) off the mature fruiting spike, those that are turning a straw colour. 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.