Seeds of South Australia
Austrostipa nitida (Gramineae)
Balcarra Grass
List of species for Austrostipa
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Seed collecting:
September to January
Herbarium regions:
North Western, Lake Eyre, Nullarbor, Gairdner-Torrens, Flinders Ranges, Eastern, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern
NRM regions:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Alinytjara Wilurara, Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
IBRA regions
SUMMARY
Tintinara (NCP04)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [edge of range]
Kangaroo Island (KAN01)Kanmantoo
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [comes up on roadsides; can be confused with A nodosa]
Fleurieu (KAN02) 
 Near Threatened   [edge of range; comes up on roadsides; can be confused with A nodosa]
Mount Lofty Ranges (FLB01)Flinders Lofty Block
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [comes up on roadsides; can be confused with A nodosa]
Broughton (FLB02) 
 Least Concern
Olary Spur (FLB03) 
 Least Concern
Southern Flinders (FLB04) 
 Least Concern
Northern Flinders (FLB05) 
 Least Concern
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
 Least Concern
Murray Mallee (MDD02) 
 Least Concern
Murray Lakes and Coorong (MDD03) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   (Probable Decline)   [edge of range]
Lowan Mallee (MDD04) 
 Least Concern
Wimmera (MDD05) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [edge of range]
Braemer (MDD07) 
 Least Concern
Murray Scroll Belt (RIV06)Riverina
 Least Concern
Myall Plains (GAW01)Gawler
 Least Concern
Gawler Volcanics (GAW02) 
 Least Concern
Gawler Lakes (GAW03) 
 Least Concern
Arcoona Plateau (GAW04) 
 Least Concern
Kingoonya (GAW05) 
 Least Concern
Torrens (GAW06) 
 Least Concern
Roxby (GAW07) 
 Least Concern
Commonwealth Hill (GAW08) 
 Least Concern
Maralinga (GVD03)Great Victoria Desert
 Least Concern
Kintore (GVD04) 
 Least Concern
Tallaringa (GVD05) 
 Least Concern
Yellabinna (GVD06) 
 Least Concern
Carlisle (NUL01)Nullarbor
 Least Concern
Nullarbor Plain (NUL02) 
 Least Concern
Yalata (NUL03) 
 Least Concern
Hampton (HAM01)Hampton
 Least Concern
Barrier Range (BHC01)Broken Hill Complex
 Least Concern
Barrier Range Outwash (BHC04) 
 Least Concern
Bimbowrie (BHC05) 
 Least Concern
Curnamona (BHC06) 
 Least Concern
Simpson Desert (SSD02)Simpson Strzelecki Dunefields
 Least Concern
Dieri (SSD03) 
 Least Concern
Warriner (SSD04) 
 Least Concern
Strzelecki Desert (SSD05) 
 Least Concern
Breakaways (STP01)Stony Plains
 Least Concern
Oodnadatta (STP02) 
 Least Concern
Murnpeowie (STP03) 
 Least Concern
Macumba (STP05) 
 Least Concern
Baltana (STP07) 
 Least Concern
Sturt Stony Desert (CHC02)Channel Country
 Near Threatened
Mann-Musgrave Block (CER01)Central Ranges
 Least Concern
Watarru (CER02) 
 Least Concern
Everard Block (CER03) 
 Least Concern
Tieyon (FIN03)Finke
 Least Concern
Pedirka (FIN04) 
 Least Concern
IBRA regions
DISPLAY ALL
Tintinara (NCP04)Naracoorte Coastal PlainRare
  (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [edge of range]
2 of 2 subregionsKanmantooNear Threatened
, Rare
6 of 6 subregionsFlinders Lofty BlockLeast Concern
, Rare
5 of 5 subregionsEyre Yorke BlockLeast Concern
6 of 6 subregionsMurray Darling DepressionLeast Concern
, Rare
Murray Scroll Belt (RIV06)RiverinaLeast Concern
8 of 8 subregionsGawlerLeast Concern
4 of 4 subregionsGreat Victoria DesertLeast Concern
3 of 3 subregionsNullarborLeast Concern
Hampton (HAM01)HamptonLeast Concern
4 of 4 subregionsBroken Hill ComplexLeast Concern
4 of 4 subregionsSimpson Strzelecki DunefieldsLeast Concern
5 of 7 subregionsStony PlainsLeast Concern
Sturt Stony Desert (CHC02)Channel CountryNear Threatened
3 of 3 subregionsCentral RangesLeast Concern
2 of 2 subregionsFinkeLeast 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. Nitida from the Latin 'niteo' meaning shining, bright; referring to its spikelets or lemma have a smooth, polished, lustrous surface.
Distribution:
Found in most part of South Australia, growing on sandy loam to clay loam in shrubland, mallee and woodland. Also found in all mainland states.
Status:
Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other states.
Plant description:
Densely tufted perennial grass to 80 cm high with erect unbranched culms and glabrous nodes usually hidden by the sheaths. Leaves glabrous to shortly pubescent with blade slightly to strongly inrolled, to 30 cm long and 2 mm wide, rather stiff, sheath rather broad and loose, often with a pale marginal stripe to 9 mm wide. Inflorescence a contracted, dense panicle to 40 cm long, the base of the panicle usually concealed by uppermost leaf-sheath, with green shining glumes to 13 mm long, soon fading to straw-coloured. Flowering between July and December.

Key to this species: awn falcate (curved bristle at right angle to the column), lemma narrow and needle-like, nodes mostly concealed, leaves basal often inrolled appearing fine, glumes green and shining, panicle contracted and dense

Fruit type:
Golden colour linear-elliptic lemma 6 mm long with a smooth surface and covered in sparse white hairs, callus sharp to 2 mm long, awn falcate to 70 mm long, finely scabrous.
Seed type:
Yellow-brown narrow ellipsoid grain to 2.5 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 golden 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. From one collection, the seed viability was low, at 50%. 
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
BGA5700 (6.98 g)50+16-Jun-2010KHB441
Flinders Ranges
1-Jan-201250%
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.