Plants of
South Australia
Chloris truncata
Windmill 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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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 4


Chloris from the Greek 'chloros' meaning green, referring to its green leaves. Truncata from the Latin 'trunco' meaning abruptly cut off, referring to the lemma with a truncate apex.

Distribution and status

Found mainly in the south-east part of South Australia, growing on a range of soil types and communities. Also found in all mainland states except for the Northern Territory. Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other states.
Herbarium regions: Lake Eyre, Gairdner-Torrens, Flinders Ranges, Eastern, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, South Eastern, Green Adelaide
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, 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

Erect, glabrous perennial grass to 50 cm high, forming a dense low crown, sometimes with short, branched stolons. Leaves with sheath glabrous, ligule short-ciliate and leaf blade to 5 mm wide. Spikes usually 6–9, digitate (shaped like a spread hand), radiating horizontally, to 20 cm long. Spikelets rather distant, arranged alternately in 2 rows on the underside, 2- or 3-flowered, upper empty, florets black when mature. Lower glume to 2.3 mm long and upper glume to 4.2 mm long. Fertile lemma narrow-elliptic, to 4.5 mm long, apex truncate, glabrous except for the appressed-pilose margins, awn to 15 mm long. Flowering between November and June (or possible in respond to rain). Seeds are small grain. Seed embryo type is lateral.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between December and August. Use hands to gently strip seeds off the mature seed spike that are fluffy from the hairs and turning straw colour. Mature seeds will come off easily. Alternatively, you can break off the whole seed spike. 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 can be average.

Germination table: