Seeds of South Australia
Austrostipa stipoides (Gramineae)
Coast Spear-grass
List of species for Austrostipa
Click on an image to enlarge it
Seed collecting:
October to January
Herbarium regions:
Eyre Peninsula, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern
NRM regions:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, Northern and Yorke, South East
IBRA regions
Bridgewater (NCP01)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Least Concern
Glenelg Plain (NCP02) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))
Lucindale (NCP03) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))
Tintinara (NCP04) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))
Kangaroo Island (KAN01)Kanmantoo
 Least Concern   [saline sp, around salt lagoons]
Fleurieu (KAN02) 
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)   [saline sp, around salt lagoons; coastal erosion a threat]
Southern Yorke (EYB01)Eyre Yorke Block
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Eyre Hills (EYB03) 
 Least Concern
Talia (EYB04) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Eyre Mallee (EYB05) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Murray Lakes and Coorong (MDD03)Murray Darling Depression
 Least 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. Stipoides means resembling the genus Stipa (now Austrostipa), possibly referring to when it was place under the genus Dichelachne by Hooker.
Found in the southern Eyre Peninsula to the lower South East in South Australia, growing along the coast cliffs and dunes in shrubland. Also found in New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and New Zealand.
Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other states.
Plant description:
Tufted perennial grass to 1.2 m high with erect unbranched culms and glabrous nodes, remaining concealed by sheaths. Leaves glabrous with blade closely inrolled, appearing terete, to 70 cm long and 1 mm diameter; sharp-pointed tip; ligule glabrous, to 10 mm long. Inflorescence a contracted panicle to 20 cm long, with more than 8 spikelets and straw-coloured subequal gumes to 20 mm long,  Flowering between September and December.

Key to this species: lemma apex with long lobes (teeth) 1.5-3 mm; panicle with more than 8 spikelets; culm unbranched; leaves sharp-pointed; lemma hairs white to yellow; ligule long 3-10 mm

Fruit type:
Brown linear-elliptic lemma to 13 mm long with a granular surface and covered in white to yellow hairs; long lobes at the apex to 3 mm long; coma obscure; callus long sharp to 2.5 mm long; awn twice bent scabrous to 40 mm long; palea subequal to lemma, with a line of hairs down the centre.
Seed type:
Yellow-brown narrow-ellipsoid grain to 7 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 yellowish-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.