Seeds of South Australia
Bothriochloa macra (Gramineae)
Red-leg Grass
List of species for Bothriochloa
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Seed collecting:
December to March
Herbarium regions:
Flinders Ranges, Eastern, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, South Eastern
NRM regions:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
IBRA regions
Lucindale (NCP03)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Least Concern   [probable introduction by stock; edge of range]
Tintinara (NCP04) 
 Least Concern   (Probable Increase)   [probable introduction by stock]
Fleurieu (KAN02)Kanmantoo
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Mount Lofty Ranges (FLB01)Flinders Lofty Block
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [has been increasing; common on roadsides; weedy; difficult to rate, A Prescott & J Quarmby think Rare]
Eyre Hills (EYB03)Eyre Yorke Block
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   (Probable Increase)   [undercollected]
Murray Mallee (MDD02)Murray Darling Depression
 Least Concern   (Probable Increase)   [anomaly for categorising]
Lowan Mallee (MDD04) 
 Near Threatened   (Probable Increase)   [anomaly for categorising]
Wimmera (MDD05) 
 Least Concern   (Probable Increase)   [probable introduction by stock]
Murray Scroll Belt (RIV06)Riverina
 Least Concern   (Probable Increase)   [roadside record; under-collected through region; ]
Arcoona Plateau (GAW04)Gawler
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [roadside popns, undercollected]
Yalata (NUL03)Nullarbor
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   (Probable Increase)
Mann-Musgrave Block (CER01)Central Ranges
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [questionable ID]
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 Bothriochloa]
Name derivation:
Bothriochloa from the Greek 'bothrion' meaning little furrow or pit and 'chloe' meaning grass, referring to the distinctive discoloured groove in the joints. Macra from the Greek 'macros' meaning large.
Found mainly in the southern part of South Australia south of Port Augusta but with a few scattered records further north in grasslands and grassy woodland communities but often in degraded sites. Also found in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.
Native. Uncommon in South Australia. Uncommon in Tasmania and Queensland,. Common in the other States.
Plant description:
Perennial grass, glabrous except for the inflorescence, with slender stems, usually reddish-purple to 80 cm high.  Leaf blades flat to 20cm long, approximately 3 mm wide; sparsely hairy, green, sometimes with maroon colouring at the tips. Inflorescence a simple panicle to 8cm long with racemes to 6 cm long. Flowering between December and April.
Fruit type:
Lower glume loosely hairy or rarely glabrous, usually with a pit; upper glume slightly smaller, smooth. Lower lemma lanceolate-oblong to ovate to lanceolate, jagged at the apex, about 75% as long as the glumes. Fertile lemma stipe-like and half the length of glumes. Awn to 2.5 cm long, brown, geniculate.
Seed type:
Yellow-brown grain to 2.5 mm long
Embryo type:
Seed collecting:
Collect seed when the grass stems are reddish-purple in colour and when spikelets at the tips of the seed heads are just beginning to fall off. Use hands to gently strip seeds off the mature seed spike. Mature seeds will come off easily. Alternatively, break off the whole seed spike.
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:
From one collection, the seed viability was average, at 70%
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
BGA6700 (13.2 g)200+10-Feb-2011DJD2125
South Eastern
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.
Germination table:
DateResultT0T50Pre-treatment | Germination medium | Incubator: Photoperiod / Thermoperiod
Jun-11100%11 d16 d
1% agar with 250 mg/L gibberellic acid;
Incubated under spring/autumn conditions
Jul-1780%77 caryopses excised, 500 mg/L gibberellic acid for 24 h;
1% agar;
Incubated under winter conditions
Jun-1160%11 d28 d
1% agar with 100 mg/L potassium nitrate;
Incubated under spring/autumn conditions
Jun-1139%16 dNA
1% agar with 250 mg/L gibberellic acid;
Incubated under winter conditions
Jun-1135%11 dNA
1% agar;
Incubated under spring/autumn conditions
Jul-1716%28NA caryopses excised, 500 mg/L gibberellic acid for 24 h;
1% agar;
Incubated under spring/autumn conditions
Jun-1116%21 dNA
1% agar with 100 mg/L potassium nitrate;
Incubated under winter conditions
Jun-1113%16 dNA
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)