Seeds of South Australia
Austrostipa pubinodis (Gramineae)
Tall Spear-grass
List of species for Austrostipa
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Seed collecting:
November to March
Herbarium regions:
Murray, Southern Lofty, South Eastern
NRM regions:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
IBRA regions
Mount Gambier (SVP02)Southern Volcanic Plain
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [in Mount Burr NF]
Bridgewater (NCP01)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)
Glenelg Plain (NCP02) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Lucindale (NCP03) 
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)
Kangaroo Island (KAN01)Kanmantoo
 Data Deficient
Fleurieu (KAN02) 
 Least Concern
Mount Lofty Ranges (FLB01)Flinders Lofty Block
 Least Concern   [found along the Mt Lofty range]
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. Pubinodis from the Latin 'puber' meaning downy and 'nodus' meaning node, referring to the its pubescent nodes.
Found in the southern Mount Lofty Ranges and the lower South-east in South Australia, growing in damp places in areas with high rainfall, in woodland, grassland and coastal heathland. Also found in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.
Native. Uncommon in South Australia. Common in the other states.
Plant description:
Tufted perennial grass to 1 m high, with short rhizome; unbranched culms and pubescent nodes. Leaves usually glabrous or sometimes pubescent with blade inrolled to 30 cm long and 1 mm diameter. Inflorescence an open or loose panicle to 25 cm long, often appearing one-sided, with strongly ridged, broad obtuse and membranous, purple or green glumes to 29 mm long. Flowering between October and January.

Key to this species: awn twice bent with no coma (no hairs around the lemma apex); lemma pale-brown (10-13 mm) with a granular surface and white hairs only on the lower half; hairless on the upper half; glumes strongly-ridged, broad obtuse and membranous, >17 mm; column long 25-50 mm; panicle sparse, 1 sided

Fruit type:
Pale-brown linear-ellipsoid lemma to 13 mm long, with granular surface and covered in white hairs  on only the lower half; no coma; callus long sharp and straight to 3.5 mm long; awn twice bent to 95 mm long, with short bristle and long smooth and scabrous column to 60 mm long; palea glabrous about equal to lemma.
Seed type:
Yellow-brown narrow-ellipsoid grain to 5 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 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.
Germination table:
DateResultT0T50Pre-treatment | Germination medium | Incubator: Photoperiod / Thermoperiod
Aug-1536%14 dNA 500 mg/L gibberellic acid 48 h;
1% agar;
Incubated under winter conditions
Aug-1518%7 dNA 500 mg/L gibberellic acid 48 h;
1% agar;
Incubated under spring/autumn conditions
Aug-1518%14 dNA
1% agar;
Incubated under winter conditions
Aug-156%7 dNA 200 mg/L potassium nitrate 48 h;
1% agar;
Incubated under spring/autumn conditions
Aug-156%7 dNA
1% agar;
Incubated under spring/autumn conditions
Aug-152%7 dNA 200 mg/L potassium nitrate 48 h;
1% 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)