Seeds of South Australia
Embadium johnstonii (Boraginaceae)
Johnston's Slipper-plant
List of species for Embadium
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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 on Borraginaceae.
Endemic to South Australia and found in the central part of 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-spathulate, subpetiolate 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 were 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.