Plants of
South Australia
Digitaria brownii
Gramineae
Cotton Grass
Display all 12 images
Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
Least concern
Near threatened
Rare
Vulnerable
Endangered
Critically endangered
Extinct
Data deficient
Adelaide
Arkaroola
Ceduna
Coober Pedy
Hawker
Innamincka
Marla
Marree
Mount Gambier
Oodnadatta
Renmark
Wudinna
Keith
Yunta
Enlarge Map
Copy Map
Copy Map
Display IBRA region text

Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 5.

Etymology

Digitaria from the Latin 'digitus' meaning finger, alluding to the digitate inflorescence. Brownii named after Robert Brown (1773-1858), a Scottish botanist and palaeobotanist who made important contributions to botany largely through his pioneering use of the microscope and accompany Matthew Flinders' expedition to Australia.

Distribution and status

Found across much of South Australia, growing in a variety of habitats. Also found in all mainland states. Native. Common in South Australia. Rare in Victoria. Common in the other states.
Herbarium regions: North Western, Lake Eyre, Gairdner-Torrens, Flinders Ranges, Eastern, Eyre Peninsula, Murray, Southern Lofty
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Alinytjara Wilurara, Eyre Peninsula, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Perennial grass with erect stems 50 cm high. Leaf blades narrow, flaccid, ligule oblong, glabrous, torn, to 2 mm long. Flower-spike racemes 1-4, often 2, sessile, erect, at or near the summit of the slender stems, to10 cm long, spikelets silky-white or purple, on unequal pedicels along the zig-zag rhachis; first glume minute; second glume and first (sterile) lemma equal, villous on the back, the second glume 3-nerved, the first lemma 5-nerved; second (fertile) lemma nearly as long, smooth. Flowers sporadically throughout the year. Fruits are compact, purple-brown fruit-spike. Seeds are brown ovoid seed to 2 mm long and 1 mm wide, shiny and smooth surface. Seed embryo type is lateral.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between January and December. Use hands to gently strip seeds off the mature seed spike that are turning purple-brownr. 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. From one collection, the seed viability was high, at 100%.

Seeds stored:
  Hide
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
BGA 
MSB
6,900 (4.6 g)
6,900 (4.6 g)
5018-May-2007RJB71881
North Western
1-Aug-2007100%-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.