Seeds of South Australia
Cullen parvum (Leguminosae)
Small Scurf-pea
List of species for Cullen
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Seed collecting:
December to March
Herbarium regions:
Flinders Ranges, Eastern, Northern Lofty, Murray, Southern Lofty
NRM regions:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin
IBRA regions
Mount Lofty Ranges (FLB01)Flinders Lofty Block
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN B2ab(iii); D)   (Probable Decline)   [highly localised; only a few plants]
Broughton (FLB02) 
 Least Concern   [lots on roadsides]
Olary Spur (FLB03) 
 Least Concern
Southern Flinders (FLB04) 
 Critically Endangered   (IUCN: CR B2ab(iii))   (Definite Decline)   [high rainfall requirement highly vulnerable to disturbance]
Central Flinders (FLB06) 
 Data Deficient   [imprecise location]
St Vincent (EYB02)Eyre Yorke Block
 Critically Endangered   (IUCN: CR B2ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v) )   (Definite Decline)   [Possibly 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 Cullen]
Name derivation:
Cullen named after William Cullen (1710-1790), a Scottish physician and chemist who lectured at the University of Glasgow on botany, among other things . Parvum from the Latin 'parvus' meaning small', referring to the species' habit.
Found in the southern Flinders Ranges to the Mount Lofty Ranges in South Australia growing in grasslands, grassy woodland or open forest vegetation dominated by Eucalyptus species on alluvial plains, creeks, ephemeral pools and river channels. Also found in New South Wales and Victoria.
Native. Very rare in South Australia. Very rare in the other States.
Plant description:
Trailing perennial herb to 50cm. Leaves on 3-5 cm petioles; three lanceolate or oblanceolate to oblong leaflets to 25 mm long and 6 mm wide, sparsely covered with hairs. Flower-spike long with up to 30 blue-pink, lilac or almost white pea-flowers. Flowering between October and December.
Fruit type:
Black ovoid pod to 5 mm long, hairy with one seed inside.
Seed type:
Brown bean-shaped seed to 4 mm long and 2 mm wide, with round warty projection and covered in white hairs.
Embryo type:
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 was average to high, ranging from 60% to 90%.
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)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
2800 (13.7 g)
3050 (15 g)
>10007-Feb-2005DJD 110
Northern Lofty
BGA840 (4 g)40+11-Mar-2010KHB374
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
Jul-1696%7 d7 d seed coat nicked with scalpel, leached in water 24 h;
1% 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)