Seeds of South Australia
Austrostipa scabra ssp. falcata (Gramineae)
Curved-awn Spear-grass
List of species for Austrostipa
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Seed collecting:
January to December
Herbarium regions:
Lake Eyre, Nullarbor, 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
Mount Gambier (SVP02)Southern Volcanic Plain
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))
Bridgewater (NCP01)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Least Concern   [tolerates disturbance]
Glenelg Plain (NCP02) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))
Lucindale (NCP03) 
 Near Threatened   [tolerates disturbance]
Tintinara (NCP04) 
 Least Concern
Kangaroo Island (KAN01)Kanmantoo
 Near Threatened   [regenerates easily]
Fleurieu (KAN02) 
 Least Concern   [regenerates easily]
Mount Lofty Ranges (FLB01)Flinders Lofty Block
 Least Concern   [regenerates easily]
Broughton (FLB02) 
 Least Concern
Olary Spur (FLB03) 
 Least Concern
Southern Flinders (FLB04) 
 Least Concern
Northern Flinders (FLB05) 
 Least Concern   [on roadsides/tracks where water runs off]
Central Flinders (FLB06) 
 Least Concern   [on roadsides/tracks where water runs off]
Southern Yorke (EYB01)Eyre Yorke Block
 Least Concern
St Vincent (EYB02) 
 Least Concern
Eyre Hills (EYB03) 
 Least Concern   [higher rainfall]
Talia (EYB04) 
 Least Concern   [higher rainfall]
Eyre Mallee (EYB05) 
 Least Concern
South Olary Plain (MDD01)Murray Darling Depression
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [edge of range]
Murray Mallee (MDD02) 
 Least Concern
Murray Lakes and Coorong (MDD03) 
 Least Concern   [tolerates disturbance]
Lowan Mallee (MDD04) 
 Least Concern
Wimmera (MDD05) 
 Least Concern   [Stronghold; tolerates disturbance]
Murray Scroll Belt (RIV06)Riverina
 Least Concern
Myall Plains (GAW01)Gawler
 Least Concern
Gawler Volcanics (GAW02) 
 Least Concern
Gawler Lakes (GAW03) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [limited habitat]
Arcoona Plateau (GAW04) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [limited habitat]
Kingoonya (GAW05) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Bimbowrie (BHC05)Broken Hill Complex
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [Outlier]
Breakaways (STP01)Stony Plains
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [on roadsides/tracks where water runs off]
Murnpeowie (STP03) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [on roadsides/tracks where water runs off]
IBRA regions
DISPLAY ALL
Mount Gambier (SVP02)Southern Volcanic PlainRare
  (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))
4 of 4 subregionsNaracoorte Coastal PlainLeast Concern
, Near Threatened
, Rare
2 of 2 subregionsKanmantooLeast Concern
, Near Threatened
6 of 6 subregionsFlinders Lofty BlockLeast Concern
5 of 5 subregionsEyre Yorke BlockLeast Concern
5 of 6 subregionsMurray Darling DepressionLeast Concern
, Rare
Murray Scroll Belt (RIV06)RiverinaLeast Concern
5 of 8 subregionsGawlerLeast Concern
, Rare
Bimbowrie (BHC05)Broken Hill ComplexRare
  (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [Outlier]
2 of 7 subregionsStony PlainsRare
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. Scabra from the Latin 'scaber' meaning rough to the touch, scurfy, referring to its short stiff hairs or minute projections which are rough to the touch. Falcata from the Latin 'falx' meaning sickle  and the suffix '-ata' meaning possessing, referring to its curved awn like a sickle blade..
Distribution:
Found in the south-eastern part of South Australia, growing in a wide range of habitats and soil types. Also found in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.
Status:
Native. Common in South Australia. Rare in Tasmania. Common in the other states.
Plant description:
Tufted perennial grass to 70 cm high, with unbranched erect culms and glabrous nodes. Leaves smooth, scabrous or shortly pubescent, with blade inrolled to 15 cm long and 1 mm wide; lobe at mouth of sheath and upper leaf blade  short to 1 mm; mouth of sheath hair tufts (auricles). Inflorescence a sparse panicle to 30 cm long with spikelets somewhat spreading; glumes to 15 mm long, usually purplish initially, soon becoming straw-coloured. This subspecies differs from the other subspecies found in South Australia, A. scabra ssp. scabra which has mouth of sheath glabrous or almost so, auricle asymmetrical to 4 mm long; leaf-blades more than 15 cm long; inflorescence typically sparse, narrow, with spikelets  appressed to stem. Flowers throughout the year.

Key to this species: awn falcate (curved bristle at right angle to the column); lemma narrow and needle-like; mouth of sheath hairy; auricles < 1mm; leaves short <15 cm; panicle sparse, opening or spreading

Fruit type:
Brown linear-elliptic lemma to 6.5 mm long with a smooth surface and covered in white hairs; callus to 2 mm long; awn falcate to 65 mm long with column scabrous or pubescent, with banded black and yellow veins.
Seed type:
Yellow-brown narrow ellipsoid grain to 3 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. From one collection, the seed viability was high, at 85%.
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
BGA2400 (6.6 g)100+21-Dec-2010DJD2090
South Eastern
1-Jan-201285%-18°C
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.