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Species profile—Germainia capitata


Plantae (plants) → Equisetopsida (land plants) → Poaceae (grass) → Germainia capitata

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Species details

Plantae (plants)
Equisetopsida (land plants)
Poaceae (grass)
Scientific name
Germainia capitata Balansa & Poitr.
WildNet taxon ID
Nature Conservation Act 1992 (NCA) status
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC) status
Conservation significant
Wetland status
Wetland Indicator Species
Pest status
Germainia capitata is a perennial, tufted grass 30 to 90 cm tall. It is 3 to 5 noded with the lateral branches simple. The ligule is a fringed or ciliate membrane, 1 to 1.5 mm long. The leaf blades are flat or involute, 7 to 38 cm long and 3 to 9 mm wide, with rough margins. The inflorescence is single and erect, 2 to 3.5 cm long and bearing 3 to 7 fertile spikelets (groups of florets). The fertile spikelets are 2-flowered, the lower floret is barren (rarely male). The lowest glume (bract) of each spikelet is 8 to 11 mm long and 3-nerved.
The long leaves, single inflorescence and large lower glume distinguish this species. (Chaianan, 1972; Sharp and Simon, 2002; DSEWPC, 2012).
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Germainia capitata occurs in Australia at two disjunct localities north of Bundaberg and in Torres Strait. This species also extends to Papua New Guinea, Malaya, Thailand, Vietnam, and China (Sharp and Simon, 2002). North of Bundaberg, this species occurs near the Town of 1770 and Agnes Water (Queensland Herbarium, 2012). In this area, one population occurs in Eurimbula National Park and most of the other populations occur in areas of remnant vegetation (Environmental Protection Agency, 2008).
Distributional limits
-10.1215805, 142.1205833
-24.456752, 151.9760599
Range derivation
Range derived from extent of the taxon's verified records
Germainia capitata grows in open Eucalyptus spp. and Melaleuca spp. Woodland where it is often found in patches or clumps on sandy soils, often in seasonally inundated areas (Sharp and Simon, 2002; Queensland Herbarium, 2012).
Threatening processes
The main potential threats to G. capitata include threats to Melaleuca wetland habitat such as land clearing; agricultural practices including fertiliser runoff; inappropriate fire regimes; invasive weeds, particularly exotic grasses; and modification of water flows (DSEWPC, 2012).
Status notes
Germainia capitata is listed as Vulnerable under the Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992 and Vulnerable under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999
Management recommendations
Regional and local priority actions to support the recovery of Germainia capitata are outlined by DSEWPC (2012). A summary of these include: avoid habitat loss, disturbance and modification (e.g. monitor known populations to identify key threats, minimise adverse impacts from land use at known sites; identify populations of high conservation priority); control invasive weeds (e.g. develop and implement a management plan for the control of invasive exotic grasses, identify and remove weeds in the local area, which could become a threat to G. capitata using appropriate methods; manage fire (e.g. develop and implement a suitable fire management strategy for G. capitata, identify appropriate intensity and interval of fire to promote seed germination and/or vegetation regeneration; increase conservation information (raise awareness of Germainia capitata in the local community); and enable recovery of additional sites and/or populations (e.g. undertake appropriate seed collection and storage, investigate options for linking, enhancing or establishing additional populations).
Occurs in the following Queensland pastoral districts: Cook, Port Curtis. Also occurs in the following regions: New Guinea, SE Asia, China, Malesia.
Biodiversity Group, Environment Australia (1998). Schedules 1, 2 and 3 (24 February 1998). Endangered Species Protection Act 1992.
Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPC) (2012). Germainia capitata in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Canberra. Accessed 24/02/2012.
Queensland Herbarium (2012). Specimen label information. Queensland Herbarium. Accessed 17/02/2012.
Simon, B.K. and Alfonso, Y. (2011). AusGrass2, Accessed 24/02/2012.
Simon, B.K. (1978). Technical Bulletin, Botany Branch, Queensland Department of Primary Industries 3: 11. Threatened Species and Communities, .
Profile author
Ronald Booth (24/02/2012)

Other resources

Data source

This profile data is sourced from the QLD Wildlife Data API using the Get species by ID function used under CC-By 4.0.

This information is sourced from the WildNet database managed by the Queensland Department of Environment and Science.

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Last updated
8 March 2022