Austrostipa nitida (Summerh. & C.E.Hubb.) S.W.L.Jacobs & J.Everett

Telopea 6: 587 (1996) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Usually a densely tufted perennial, culms erect to 80 cm high, nodes glabrous, usually hidden by the sheaths. Leaves glabrous to shortly pubescent; blade slightly to strongly inrolled, to 30 cm long (but often much less), 1–2 mm broad, rather stiff; sheath rather broad and loose, often with a pale marginal stripe; ligule ciliate, 0.5–1.5 mm long, often bordered by a tuft of hairs and/or conspicuous auricular lobes to 3 mm long. Inflorescence a contracted, usually dense, panicle to 40 cm long, the base of the panicle usually concealed by uppermost leaf-sheath. Glumes shining, 8–13 mm long, light green, soon fading to straw-coloured, acuminate or acute, subequal; lemma 4–6 mm long, pale brown at maturity, smooth, with sparse, short white hairs; callus 1.2–2.2 mm long; awn falcate, 45–70 mm long, the straight part 6–11 mm long, finely scabrous; palea slightly shorter than lemma, with a sparse line of hairs down the centre. Flowers Jul.–Dec.

DunT, Gold, GGr, LoM, MuF, MuM, MSB, NIS, RobP, VRiv, VVP, Wim. Also WA, NT, SA, Qld, NSW. Occurs primarily on deep sands in dry inland sites from the extreme northwest to the Bendigo district, usually associated with mallee-scrub, but sometimes on heavier soils associated with dry woodlands, but with a disjunct occurrence in grassland at Laverton to the southwest of Melbourne.

Austrostipa nitida, as currently understood, includes a polymorphic assemblage of plants. The type specimen has strikingly woolly orifices to the leaf-sheaths, a condition not known to occur in Victoria. Specimens differing appreciably in any of a number of features (e.g. robustness, flowering time, hairiness), all referable to A. nitida, may be found growing in the one area. These may constitute separate taxa, the differences between which have not yet been fully circumscribed or understood.

Source: Walsh, N.G. (1994). Poaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 2, Ferns and Allied Plants, Conifers and Monocotyledons. Inkata Press, Melbourne (as Stipa nitida Summerh. & C.E.Hubb.).
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2017-11-16
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Distribution map


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Austrostipa nitida in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Austrostipa nitida in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Lowan Mallee present native
Murray Mallee present native
Wimmera present native
Victorian Volcanic Plain present native
Victorian Riverina present native
Murray Scroll Belt present native
Robinvale Plains present native
Murray Fans present native
Goldfields present native
Greater Grampians present native
Dundas Tablelands present native
Northern Inland Slopes present native

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
Northern Territory
South Australia
New South Wales