Seeds of South Australia
Choretrum spicatum ssp. spicatum (Santalaceae)
Kangaroo Island Spiked Sour-bush
List of species for Choretrum
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Seed collecting:
December to March
Herbarium region:
Kangaroo Island
NRM region:
Kangaroo Island
IBRA region
Kangaroo Island (KAN01)Kanmantoo
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [has come up after fire in Flinders Chase; now an endemic subspecies]
RSCA map:
Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion. Please click the thumbnail map.
AVH map:
Australian distribution map (external link)
SA Census:
Census of South Australian plants (external link)     [genus Choretrum]
Name derivation:
Choretrum from the Greek 'choris' meaning separate and 'etron' meaning abdomen, referring to a rim that separates the top of the flower stalk from the flower itself. Spicatum from the Latin 'spica' meaning a spike, alluding to the flowers forming along a spike.
Distribution:
Endemic to South Australia and restricted to the western end of Kangaroo Island.
Status:
Native. Rare in South Australia.
Plant description:
An erect semi-parastic perennial, green shrub to 1.5 m high with rigid and woody branches, terete, longitudinally ridged. Leaves persistent, scale-like, sessile; spreading-ascending to spreading or recurved. Inflorescence of single peduncle bearing many flowers. Flowers white.
Fruit type:
Green-brown globose fleshy drupe to 5 mm long, with longitudinal ribs
Seed type:
Woody globular seed to 4 mm long and 3 mm wide, with deep vertical striation.
Embryo type:
Linear under-developed.
Seed collecting:
Collect drupes that are maturing; the skin softens as it ripens. Either collect the drupes from the bushes or collect ripe fruits that have fallen off the plant onto the ground beneath the bushes. A field collecting trip to Kangaroo Island in April 2017 will aim to collect and bank at least two populations of this rare sour-bush with the support of the Australian Seed Bank Partnership.
Seed cleaning:
Place the drupes in a bucket of water and rub the flesh off with your hands. Drain the water and wash again if required to remove all the flesh. Then spread the wet seeds on paper towel.
Seed germination:
This species is generally difficult to germinate, it has morpho-physiological dormancy and complex germination requirements.