Seeds of South Australia
Epacris impressa (Epacridaceae)
Common Heath
List of species for Epacris
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Seed collecting:
November to December
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
 Least Concern
Bridgewater (NCP01)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [likes acid/sandy heath; edge of range]
Glenelg Plain (NCP02) 
 Least Concern
Lucindale (NCP03) 
 Least Concern
Tintinara (NCP04) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [edge of range]
Kangaroo Island (KAN01)Kanmantoo
 Least Concern
Fleurieu (KAN02) 
 Least Concern
Mount Lofty Ranges (FLB01)Flinders Lofty Block
 Least Concern
Murray Mallee (MDD02)Murray Darling Depression
 Critically Endangered   (IUCN: CR B2ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v); D)   (Definite Decline)
Murray Lakes and Coorong (MDD03) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [edge of range. Poss all Currency Ck]
Lowan Mallee (MDD04) 
 Near Threatened
Wimmera (MDD05) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [edge of range]
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 Epacris]
Name derivation:
Epacris from the Greek 'epi' meaning on and 'akris' meaning hilltop, referring to the habitat of several species. Impressa from the Latin 'impressa' meaning impressed or indented, alluding to the indentations on the floral tube.
Distribution:
Found on Kangaroo Island, southern Mount Lofty Ranges and the South-east in South Australia growing in scrub and heathland, occasionally in swampy areas on sandy soils. Also found in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.
Status:
Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other States.
Plant description:
Erect shrub to 120 cm high with dense red  hair on young branches. Leaves spreading, linear-lanceolate to ovate-lanceolate to 13 mm long and 2.9 mm wide, with a pointed tip and truncated base. Flowers white, pink or red in axils of leaves; long cylindrical. Flowering between April and August.
Fruit type:
Brown globular to flat-topped capsule to 3.5 mm long and 3.6 mm wide, with many seed per cell.
Seed type:
Brown ovoid to ellipsoid seed to 0.75 mm long and 0.5 mm wide, with reticulate surface.
Embryo type:
Linear
Seed collecting:
Collect mature capsules, those that are turning a pale straw colour and contain brown seeds. Monitoring of ripping capsules maybe required as capsules can split and release the seeds quickly.
Seed cleaning:
Place the capsules in a tray and leave to dry for one to two weeks. Then rub the capsules gently by hand to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate the unwanted material. Be very careful as the seeds are very small. 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 germination:
This species has morphophysiological dormancy and can be difficult to germinate. In laboratory experiments germination levels increased after treatment with dry heat, smoke water and gibberellic acid.
Germination table:
DateResultT0T50Pre-treatment | Germination medium | Incubator: Photoperiod / Thermoperiod
Jun-1484%21 d35 d dry heat 90°C oven 15 min, 1000 mg/L gibberellic acid + 10% smoke water 48 h;
filter paper over moist sand;
Incubated under spring/autumn conditions
Mar-1572%21 d28 d dry heat 90°C oven 15 min, 10% smoke water 24 h;
1% agar;
Incubated under winter conditions
Jun-1467%21 d35 d dry heat 90°C oven 15 min, 1000 mg/L gibberellic acid;
filter paper over moist sand;
Incubated under spring/autumn conditions
Mar-1558%21 d35 d dry heat 90°C oven 15 min, 10% smoke water 24 h;
1% agar;
Incubated under spring/autumn conditions
Jun-1457%21 d49 d dry heat 90°C oven 15 min, 10% smoke water 48 h;
filter paper over moist sand;
Incubated under spring/autumn conditions
Mar-1556%14 d28 d dry heat 90°C oven 15 min, 1000 mg/L gibberellic acid + 10% smoke water 24 h;
1% agar;
Incubated under spring/autumn conditions
Mar-1554%14 d28 d dry heat 90°C oven 15 min, 1000 mg/L gibberellic acid + 10% smoke water 24 h;
1% agar;
Incubated under winter conditions
Mar-1551%21 d35 d dry heat 90°C oven 15 min, 10% smoke water 24 h;
1% agar, darkness;
Incubated under winter conditions
Mar-1542%14 dNA dry heat 90°C oven 15 min, 10% smoke water 24 h;
1% agar, darkness;
Incubated under spring/autumn conditions
Jun-1428%21 dNA 1000 mg/L gibberellic acid + 10% smoke water 48 h;
filter paper over moist sand;
Incubated under spring/autumn conditions
Jun-1425%21 dNA 1000 mg/L gibberellic acid 48 h;
filter paper over moist sand;
Incubated under spring/autumn conditions
Jun-1411%35 dNA leached in water 8 d;
filter paper over moist sand;
Incubated under spring/autumn conditions
Jun-1410%28 dNA
filter paper over moist sand;
Incubated under spring/autumn conditions
Mar-152%49 dNA
1% agar;
Incubated under spring/autumn conditions
Mar-152%35 dNA
1% agar;
Incubated under winter 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)