Seeds of South Australia
Cullen microcephalum (Leguminosae)
Dusky Scurf-pea
List of species for Cullen
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Seed collecting:
January to April
Herbarium region:
South Eastern
NRM region:
South East
IBRA regions
Mount Gambier (SVP02)Southern Volcanic Plain
 Regionally Extinct   [possibly extinct]
Glenelg Plain (NCP02)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN D)   [(no records) in Honans NFR only 1 known location in swampy grazed area]
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 Cullen]
Name derivation:
Cullen named after William Cullen (1710-1790), a Scottish physician and chemist who lectured at the University of Glasgow on among other things botany. Microcephalum from the Greek 'mikros' meaning small and 'cephalum' meaning head; referring to the species small flower-heads.
Distribution:
Only known from one location near Mount Gambier in South Australia, growing moist shady grassy woodland. Also found in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.
Status:
Native. Very rare in South Australia. Rare in Tasmania. Uncommon in Victoria and New South Wales.
Plant description:
Trailing or ascending perennial herb with stems to 80 cm long, glabrous or with sparse appressed dark hairs, gland-dotted. Leaves to 15 cm long, palmately 3-foliolate, leaflets lanceolate to ovate-oblong, to 7 cm long and 20 mm wide, apex acute, margins entire, upper surface dotted with dark glands. Flower-spike  clustered at terminal with mauve-purple, pink or white pea-flowers. Pods c. 3 mm long, glabrous, wrinkled, black. Flowering between November to April.
Fruit type:
Black ovoid pod to 3 mm long, with one seed inside.
Seed type:
Black globular seed to 3 mm long and 2 mm wide, with a deep wrinkled surface.
Embryo type:
Bent.
Seed collecting:
Collect maturing pods, those that are fat, turning black and contain a brown seed inside, by running your hands along the fruit-spikes.
Seed cleaning:
Place the pods in a tray and leave to dry for 1 to 2 weeks or until the pods begin to split. Then rub the dried pods to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate any unwanted material. 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.
Seed viability:
From two collections, the seed viability were high, at 100%.
Seed germination:
This species has physical dormancy that needs to be overcome for the seed to germinate (e.g. nicking or softening the seed coat).
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
BGA 
MSB
590 (2.46 g)
1100 (4.62 g)
70-8010-Jan-2007TJH3
South Eastern
1-Aug-2007100%-18°C
BGA4400 (21.61 g)50+8-Jan-2008TJH3
South Eastern
19-Sep-2008100%-18°C
BGA5400 (22.38 g)200+15-Jan-2013DJD2623
South Eastern
27-Feb-2014 (Xray 72%)-18°C
Location: BGA — the seeds are stored at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens, MSB — the seeds are stored at the Millennium Seed Bank, Kew, England.
Number of plants: This is the number of plants from which the seeds were collected.
Collection location: The Herbarium of South Australia's region name.
% Viability: Percentage of filled healthy seeds determined by a cut test or x-ray.
Germination table:
DateResultT0T50Pre-treatment | Germination medium | Incubator: Photoperiod / Thermoperiod
April 201398%6d6d Seed coat nicked
70mm glass petri dishes on 1% w/v agar.
Incubated under spring/autumn conditions
Result: Maximum percentage of germination observed.
T0: Number of days before first germinant observed.
T50: Number of days to achieve 50% germination.
Pre-treatment: The initial treatment that the seeds received prior to placement on germination media.
Germination medium: The substrate that seeds were placed on for the duration of the germination experiment.
Incubator conditions:
Photoperiod: The duration of light exposure that the seeds were subject to during a 24 hour period.
Thermoperiod: The constant or diurnal temperatures that seeds were subject to during a 24 hour period.
Winter conditions: 15°C 20 h (3am→11pm); 5°C 4 h (11pm→3am) / 10 h light (8am→6pm); 14 h dark (6pm→8am)
Spring/Autumn conditions: 22°C 12 h (8am→8pm); 10°C 12 h (8pm→8am) / 12 h light (8am→8pm); 12 h dark (8pm→8am)
Summer conditions: 30°C 14 h (6am→8pm); 15°C 10 h (8pm→6am) / 14 h light (6am→8pm); 10 h dark (8pm→6am)