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, the 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 red and dense 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 at axils of leaves, long cylinder-shaped. 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 reticulated 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)