Seeds of South Australia
Cryptostylis subulata (Orchidaceae)
Large Tongue-orchid
List of species for Cryptostylis
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Seed collecting:
March to June
Herbarium regions:
Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern
NRM regions:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Kangaroo Island, South East
IBRA regions
Mount Gambier (SVP02)Southern Volcanic Plain
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)   [limited habitat; no management]
Glenelg Plain (NCP02)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)   [limited habitat]
Lucindale (NCP03) 
 Critically Endangered   (IUCN: CR B2ab(i,ii,iii); D)   (Probable Decline)   [all known sites have been destroyed]
Kangaroo Island (KAN01)Kanmantoo
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN B2ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v))   (Probable Decline)   [outside of reserves]
Fleurieu (KAN02) 
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN B2ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v))   (Probable Decline)
Mount Lofty Ranges (FLB01)Flinders Lofty Block
 Critically Endangered   (IUCN: CR B2ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v); D)   (Probable Decline)   [only known from Boyles Swamp; could be extinct]
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 Cryptostylis]
Name derivation:
Cryptostylis from the Greek 'cryptos' meaning hidden and 'stylon' meaning column, style, referring to the recessed column. Subulata from the Latin 'subulata' meaning depressed, referring to the labellum being angled down toward its apex.
Found on Kangaroo Island, southern Mt Lofty Ranges and the lower South-east in South Australia growing in swamps, marshes, bog and along the edges of streams. Often found in Leptospermum continentale shrublands and on sandy soils. Also found in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.
Native. Rare in South Australia. Common in the other States.
Plant description:
Grows to 80 cm tall with up to 20 flowers. Erect leathery lanceolate leaves with both surfaces dark green to yellow green, 7-35 cm long. Flowers have a large labellum to 30 mm long, ovate with recurved margins, grading from yellow to reddish at tip. Sepals are yellowish-green 15-35 mm long. Flowering between November and April.
Fruit type:
Brown papery ellipsoid capsule.
Seed type:
Very small brown ellipsoid seed with a long cylindrical translucent brown mesh-like covering.
Seed collecting:
Collect plump capsules as they start to dry and turn brown. Pods will split and release the seeds quickly and will require monitoring. To increase the chances of collecting mature pods, it is recommended that a small breathable bag (ie. Organza bags) be used to enclose the developing capsules.
Seed cleaning:
Place the capsules in a container that will hold fine seeds and leave to dry for a few weeks or until the capsule split. Then carefully hold the capsule and tap it gently to release the 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, refrigerator or in liquid nitrogen.
Seed viability:
For the NVC South East Orchid Project one populations consisting of more than X individuals were recorded from the Mt Lyon Native Forest Reserve. Approximately 6000 seeds (0.02g) were banked for this population. Seed viability was 45%.