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Austrostipa Stipoides is also known as Prickly Spear Grass

Images of Austrostipa Stipoides at

Austrostipa Stipoides is popularly known as Prickly Spear-grass or Coast Spear-grass.

Overview of Austrostipa Stipoides

• It is a type of tussock grass that is indigenous to the coasts of south-eastern Australia and also New Zealand.
• It forms large clumps.
• These are about 80 cm high with smooth in-rolled leaves.
• These leaves are 70 cm long and 1 mm wide.
• It has sharp tips.
It is available on:
– sea cliffs
– the edges of beach dunes
– salt marshes
• It tolerates strong winds and sea spray.
• It is a tufted perennial grass typically forming large tussocks.
• It has erect stems that are up to 80 cm tall.
• They are smooth and non-hairy.
• Flower-heads are in contracted panicles that are up to 20 cm long.
• Florets are 8-13 mm long.
• Inflorescence are arranged into dense, narrow panicles to 25cm long.
• The awns are bent twice or over to 40mm long.
• They flower from October to March.

Scientific Classification of Austrostipa Stipoides

• Kingdom : Plantae
• (unranked) : Angiosperms
• (unranked) : Monocots
• (unranked) : Commelinids
• Order : Poales
• Family : Poaceae
• Genus : Austrostipa
• Species : A. stipoides
• Binomial name : Austrostipa stipoides

Growing/Caring conditions

• Stipa species and cultivars are all easily grown in any moderately fertile, well-drained soil in full sun.
• Most are hardy to at least -15°C.
• Though many will not survive the winter conditions where the soil is waterlogged.
• Plants should establish quickly.
• Once growing well they need little attention apart from cutting back of the foliage during the winter.
• This is to clean up prior to the new flush of growth that appears in the spring.
• It is not troubled by pests or diseases.
• Spear grasses grow on a wide range of soil types.
• These species grow well on poor soils.
• They also prefer soils that have high acidity.
• Tall Spear grass grows well in loam soils which have moderate to low pH.
• These species are high drought resistance.
Other tolerances of these species are:
– Low fertility tolerant
– Acid soil tolerant
– Frost tolerant

• The seeds should be sown below 5-10 mm of the soil surface when there is availability of moisture.
• Spear grass grows well when sown during autumn or winter.
• In the cooler months, germination can take from 6–8 weeks.
• In the warmer months, it may be 7–10 days.
• Keep the soil moist.
• Do not water log the soil for three weeks after sowing.
• Sowing of seeds can be done with or without awns.
• Sow the seeds with awn so that they are able to move during watering.
• This will help the awn to find a space for its burial.
• It is more difficult to sow this way.
• It generally requires hand sowing.
• Sowing the seeds without awns is easier.
• It requires sowing into a groove or shallow trench.

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