Seeds of South Australia
Embadium johnstonii (Boraginaceae)
Johnston's Slipper-plant
List of species for Embadium
Display more images
Click on an image to enlarge it
Seed collecting:
September to November
Herbarium region:
Lake Eyre
NRM region:
South Australian Arid Lands
IBRA region
Breakaways (STP01)Stony Plains
 Near Threatened
Oodnadatta (STP02) 
 Least Concern
Baltana (STP07) 
 Least Concern   [common when it rains]
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 Embadium]
Name derivation:
Embadium from the Greek 'embadion' meaning a little slipper; referring to the mericarps bearing some resemblance to a slipper. Johnstonii named after Ivan Murray Johnston (1898–1960), a United States botanist and a specialist in Boraginaceae.
Endemic to South Australia and found in e central  South Australia, mainly between Cooper Pedy and Oodnadatta growing on gypseous soils.
Native. Rare in South Australia.
Plant description:
Annual herb with few to many, more or less erect branches to 20 cm long, mainly from the base, with a tap root, covered with hairs. Leaves alternate, narrowly oblanceolate-spatulate, sub-petiolate but slightly sheathing in the basal rosette, becoming widely spaced, sessile, oblanceolate-elliptic to lanceolate higher up; to 4 cm long and 0.5 cm wide. Flower-spike terminal with tubular white flowers along the stems. Flowering between September and October.
Fruit type:
Dark brown cluster with four seeds.
Seed type:
Pale yellowish-brown ovoid seed to 3 mm long and 1.5 mm wide, with a raised spongy rim with margins incurved.
Embryo type:
Spatulate fully developed.
Seed collecting:
Collect mature fruits that are dark, hard and come off easily. Can collect indivual fruit cluster or break off whole heads.
Seed cleaning:
Place the fruits in a tray and leave to dry for one to two weeks. Then rub the fruits gently by hand to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate the 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 70% to 85%.
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
BGA17000 (16.4 g)50+5-Oct-2010DJD1936
Lake Eyre
1-Jan-201285%+5°C, -18°C
3600 (4.16 g)
3600 (4.16 g)
Lake Eyre
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.