Seeds of South Australia
Austrostipa mollis (Gramineae)
Supple Spear-grass
List of species for Austrostipa
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Seed collecting:
November to February
Herbarium regions:
Flinders Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern
NRM regions:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
IBRA regions
SUMMARY
Mount Gambier (SVP02)Southern Volcanic Plain
 Least Concern
Bridgewater (NCP01)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Least Concern
Glenelg Plain (NCP02) 
 Least Concern
Lucindale (NCP03) 
 Least Concern
Tintinara (NCP04) 
 Least Concern
Kangaroo Island (KAN01)Kanmantoo
 Least Concern
Fleurieu (KAN02) 
 Least Concern
Mount Lofty Ranges (FLB01)Flinders Lofty Block
 Least Concern   [some records could be A hemipogon or semibarbata]
Broughton (FLB02) 
 Least Concern
Olary Spur (FLB03) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))
Southern Flinders (FLB04) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))
Southern Yorke (EYB01)Eyre Yorke Block
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))
St Vincent (EYB02) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))
Eyre Hills (EYB03) 
 Least Concern   [needs rainfall]
Talia (EYB04) 
 Least Concern   [needs rainfall]
Eyre Mallee (EYB05) 
 Least Concern   [needs rainfall]
Murray Mallee (MDD02)Murray Darling Depression
 Least Concern   [likes sand]
Murray Lakes and Coorong (MDD03) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   (Probable Decline)
Lowan Mallee (MDD04) 
 Least Concern   [likes sand]
Wimmera (MDD05) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Myall Plains (GAW01)Gawler
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [edge of range]
Yellabinna (GVD06)Great Victoria Desert
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [check records]
IBRA regions
DISPLAY ALL
Mount Gambier (SVP02)Southern Volcanic PlainLeast Concern
4 of 4 subregionsNaracoorte Coastal PlainLeast Concern
2 of 2 subregionsKanmantooLeast Concern
4 of 6 subregionsFlinders Lofty BlockLeast Concern
, Rare
5 of 5 subregionsEyre Yorke BlockLeast Concern
, Rare
4 of 6 subregionsMurray Darling DepressionLeast Concern
, Rare
Myall Plains (GAW01)GawlerRare
  (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [edge of range]
Yellabinna (GVD06)Great Victoria DesertRare
  (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [check records]
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. Mollis from Latin meaning soft, referring to its leaf-blades or inflorescence being softly hairy.
Distribution:
Found in the southern part of South Australia, south of Port Augusta growing on limestone, sand, sandy loam and clay in open forest, woodland and mallee. Also found in Western Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.
Status:
Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other states.
Plant description:
Tufted perennial grass to 1.2  m high, with culms unbranched and pubescent or rarely glabrous nodes. Leaves usually glabrous, sometimes scabrous, rarely pubescent, with blade weakly to strongly inrolled to 30 cm long and 4 mm wide. Inflorescence a densely contracted panicle to 30 cm long with purplish or green glumes to 22 mm long, upper glumes to 20 mm long. Flowering between September to December.

Key to this species: awn twice bent with no coma (no hairs around the lemma apex); awn 60-120 mm; awn hairs 0.6-2 mm spiralling up nerve; lemma 7.5-9 mm with red-brown granular surface; panicle dense; upper glume 15-20 mm

Fruit type:
Red-brown narrow-ellipsoid lemma to 9 mm long, with finely granular surface and covered in white to golden hairs except towards the apex; callus long straight and sharp to 3 mm long; awn twice bent to 100 mm long and column plumose, with a spiralling line of hairs to 2 mm long up the nerve, palea about equal to lemma, with a line of hairs down the centre. 
Seed type:
Yellow-brown narrow-ellipsoid grain to 4.5 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.
Germination table:
DateResultT0T50Pre-treatment | Germination medium | Incubator: Photoperiod / Thermoperiod
August 2015100%7d14d Soak in 500 mg/L gibberellic acid for 48 hrs
1% water agar
Incubated under winter conditions
August 201594%7d14d Soak in 200 mg/L potassium nitrate for 48 hrs
1% water agar
Incubated under winter conditions
August 201592%7d14d soak in 500 mg/L gibberellic acid for 48 hrs
1% water agar
Incubated under spring/autumn conditions
August 201590%7d14d None
1% water agar
Incubated under spring/autumn conditions
August 201588%7d7d soak in 200 mg/L potassium nitrate for 48 hrs
1% water agar
Incubated under spring/autumn conditions
August 201588%14d14d None
1% water agar
Incubated under winter conditions
Result: Maximum percentage of germination observed.
T0: Number of days before first germinant observed.
T50: Number of days to achieve 50% germination.
Pre-treatment: The initial treatment that the seeds received prior to placement on germination media.
Germination medium: The substrate that seeds were placed on for the duration of the germination experiment.
Incubator conditions:
Photoperiod: The duration of light exposure that the seeds were subject to during a 24 hour period.
Thermoperiod: The constant or diurnal temperatures that seeds were subject to during a 24 hour period.
Winter conditions: 15°C 20 h (3am→11pm); 5°C 4 h (11pm→3am) / 10 h light (8am→6pm); 14 h dark (6pm→8am)
Spring/Autumn conditions: 22°C 12 h (8am→8pm); 10°C 12 h (8pm→8am) / 12 h light (8am→8pm); 12 h dark (8pm→8am)
Summer conditions: 30°C 14 h (6am→8pm); 15°C 10 h (8pm→6am) / 14 h light (6am→8pm); 10 h dark (8pm→6am)