Plants of
South Australia
Amphipogon caricinus var. caricinus
Long Grey Beard-grass
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
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Near threatened
Critically endangered
Data deficient
Coober Pedy
Mount Gambier
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Amphipogon from the Greek 'amphi' meaning double and 'pogon' meaning beard, alluding to the hairs around the spikelet rachis. Caricinus from the Latin 'carex' meaning reed-grass and 'inus' meaning belonging to, alluding to its similarity to Carex.

Distribution and status

Found in hilly areas with sandy skeletal or red earth soils across much of the drier parts of South Australia. Also found in all other mainland States. Native. Common in South Australia. Common in other States.
Herbarium regions: North Western, Nullarbor, Gairdner-Torrens, Flinders Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, South Eastern, Green Adelaide
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Alinytjara Wilurara, Eyre Peninsula, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Grass to 60cm high, with tufted or with very short more or less oblique rhizome. Leaf blades to 15 cm long. Panicle oblong to narrow-cylindrical to 4cm long, less than 1 cm broad. Spikelets 9-10 mm long. Fruits are lemma 6-8 mm long (including the awns), awn hairs (cilia) continuing (without reduction in length) right to the awn-tips; anthers c. 3 mm long. Seeds are yellow-brown grain to 3mm long. Seed embryo type is lateral.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between November and December. Use hands to gently strip seeds off the mature seedheads that are turning straw colour. Mature seeds will come off easily. Alternatively, you can break off the whole seedheads. Place the seeds/seedheads in a tray and leave to dry for two weeks. No further cleaning is required if only seed collected. If seedheads 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 plac From one collection, the seed viability was low, at 25%. Seeds are non-dormant, viable seed should germinate readily.