Plants of
South Australia
Polypogon tenellus
Gramineae
Native beard-grass
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
Least concern
Near threatened
Rare
Vulnerable
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Critically endangered
Extinct
Data deficient
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Etymology

Polypogon from the Greek 'polys' meaning many and 'pogon' meaning beard; referring to the hairy panicle. Tenellus meaning small, delicate, tender; alluding to its habit.

Distribution and status

Currently only known from the lower part of Yorke Peninsula in South Australia. Also found in Western Australia. Native. Very rare in South Australia. Common in Western Australia.
Herbarium region: Yorke Peninsula
NRM region: Northern and Yorke
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Small erect annual grass to 15 cm tall. Looks similar to the introduced coast beard-grass (Polypogon maritimus), differ by the number of awns on the lemma. Plant green turning red as it matures. Fruits are reddish heads to about 3 cm at the terminal. Seeds are pale brown seeds with 3 awns, central awn longer than the two side awns. Seed embryo type is lateral.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between October and November. Collect heads that are reddish in colour. Run your fingers gently thorugh the heads and collect only those that come off easily. These will contain the mature seeds. No cleaning is required if you collected the seeds by running your fingers through the heads. 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.

Seeds stored:
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LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
BGA 
MSB
13,500 (2.59 g)
13,500 (2.59 g)
10011-Nov-2009TST806
Yorke Peninsula
1-Jun-201085%+5°C, -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.
Germination table:
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