Plants of
South Australia
Uranthoecium truncatum
Gramineae
Flat-stem Grass
Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
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Extinct
Data deficient
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock painting: 1.

Etymology

Uranthoecium from the Greek 'ouranos' meaning vaulted roof and 'thekion' meaning little box; referring to the particular shape of the caryopsis. Truncatum means abruptly cut off.

Distribution and status

Found in the north and north-east regions in South Australia, growing in open grassland, in small depressions on heavy soil plains of the arid and semiarid. Also found in Northern Territory, Queensland and New South Wales. Native. Uncommon in South Australia. Rare in New South Wales. Common in the other states.
Herbarium regions: North Western, Lake Eyre
NRM regions: Alinytjara Wilurara, South Australian Arid Lands
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

A low dense grass with several stems, to 15 cm high. Leaves with scattered hairs often seated on tubercles, the sheaths loose, the blades lanceolate, to 6.5 cm long, ligule of long hairs. Inflorescence 7–10 cm long, at first partially enclosed in the uppermost sheath, axis fragile, spikes falling with an attached axis internode. Spikelets 8–10 mm long, 2–4 together in each spike, glabrous. Lower glume 3–4 mm long, truncate, pallid; upper 5 mm long, truncate or notched, the nerves merging near the apex to form 2 keels. Lower lemma sterile as long as the spikelet, keeled upwards with a scaberulous tip; palea 2-keeled, 2-toothed. Upper lemma bisexual, firm to hardened, 7–8 mm long, obscurely 5-nerved; palea 5 mm long, prolonged into a bristle-like tip. Flowering between March and June. Fruits are pale brown long spike with numerous seeds. Seeds are pale yellow ovoid grain to 3 mm long and 1 mm wide. Seed embryo type is lateral.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between June and August. Use hands to gently strip seeds off the mature seed spike that are 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.

Seeds stored:
  Hide
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
BGA 
MSB
3,200 (7.2 g)
3,000 (6.8 g)
5018-May-2007RJB71888
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.