Seeds of South Australia
Austrostipa platychaeta (Gramineae)
Flat-awn Spear-grass
List of species for Austrostipa
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Seed collecting:
January to March
Herbarium regions:
North Western, Lake Eyre, Nullarbor, Gairdner-Torrens, Flinders Ranges, Eastern, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty
NRM regions:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Alinytjara Wilurara, Eyre Peninsula, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin
IBRA regions
SUMMARY
Fleurieu (KAN02)Kanmantoo
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [edge of range; looks like rice millet & gets sprayed]
Mount Lofty Ranges (FLB01)Flinders Lofty Block
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [edge of range; looks like rice millet & gets sprayed]
Broughton (FLB02) 
 Least Concern
Olary Spur (FLB03) 
 Least Concern
Southern Flinders (FLB04) 
 Least Concern
Northern Flinders (FLB05) 
 Near Threatened   [undercollected; edge of range]
Central Flinders (FLB06) 
 Least Concern   [undercollected]
Southern Yorke (EYB01)Eyre Yorke Block
 Least Concern
St Vincent (EYB02) 
 Least Concern
Eyre Hills (EYB03) 
 Least Concern
Talia (EYB04) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Eyre Mallee (EYB05) 
 Least Concern
South Olary Plain (MDD01)Murray Darling Depression
 Least Concern   [dryland spp.]
Murray Mallee (MDD02) 
 Least Concern
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) 
 Least Concern
Arcoona Plateau (GAW04) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Kingoonya (GAW05) 
 Least Concern
Maralinga (GVD03)Great Victoria Desert
 Least Concern
Kintore (GVD04) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [outlier]
Yellabinna (GVD06) 
 Least Concern
Nullarbor Plain (NUL02)Nullarbor
 Least Concern
Yalata (NUL03) 
 Least Concern
Hampton (HAM01)Hampton
 Least Concern
Curnamona (BHC06)Broken Hill Complex
 Least Concern
Breakaways (STP01)Stony Plains
 Near Threatened
Oodnadatta (STP02) 
 Data Deficient   [1 old record ]
IBRA regions
DISPLAY ALL
Fleurieu (KAN02)KanmantooRare
  (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [edge of range; looks like rice millet & gets sprayed]
6 of 6 subregionsFlinders Lofty BlockLeast Concern
, Near Threatened
, Rare
5 of 5 subregionsEyre Yorke BlockLeast Concern
, Rare
3 of 6 subregionsMurray Darling DepressionLeast Concern
Murray Scroll Belt (RIV06)RiverinaRare
  (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))
5 of 8 subregionsGawlerLeast Concern
, Rare
3 of 4 subregionsGreat Victoria DesertLeast Concern
, Rare
2 of 3 subregionsNullarborLeast Concern
Hampton (HAM01)HamptonLeast Concern
Curnamona (BHC06)Broken Hill ComplexLeast Concern
2 of 7 subregionsStony PlainsNear Threatened
, Data Deficient
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. Platychaeta from the Greek 'platys' meaning flat, wide, broad and 'chaite' meaning bristle, referring to its flattened bristle on the awn.
Distribution:
Found scattered through the central region of South Australia from east to west, growing on sand, limestone, loam and clay, in mallee, woodland and open forest. Also found in Western Australia, New South Wales and Victoria.
Status:
Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other states.
Plant description:
Shortly rhizomatous perennial grass to 1.5 m high with erect branched culms and glabrous nodes. Leaves glabrous, sometimes scabrous with blade flat or weakly inrolled, to 25 cm long and 8 mm wide. Inflorescence a sparse to dense panicle with spreading branches, to 30 cm long; glumes to 15 mm long, straw-coloured, ciliate at the apex, the lower up to 5 mm longer than upper. Flowering between December to February.

Key to this species: perennial grass; culm branching from the base; panicle large and spreading; callus long sharp; awn bristle flat curved and wider at the base than the column; column scabrous.

Fruit type:
Dark-brown linear-elliptic lemma to 6 mm long, with a granular surface and covered in white hairs becoming sparse toward apex; coma absent or very sparse; callus long sharp, 1 mm long; awn falcate to 90 mm long, scabrous, bristle flat; palea up to 1.5 mm shorter than lemma, with a line of hairs down the centre.
Seed type:
Yellow-brown 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 variable, depending on time of seed collections and seasonal conditions.