Seeds of South Australia
Exocarpos cupressiformis (Santalaceae)
Cherry Ballart
List of species for Exocarpos
Display more images
Click on an image to enlarge it
Seed collecting:
January to June
Herbarium regions:
Flinders Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern
NRM regions:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
IBRA regions
Mount Gambier (SVP02)Southern Volcanic Plain
 Least Concern
Bridgewater (NCP01)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Least Concern
Glenelg Plain (NCP02) 
 Least Concern
Lucindale (NCP03) 
 Least Concern
Tintinara (NCP04) 
 Near Threatened
Kangaroo Island (KAN01)Kanmantoo
 Near Threatened   (Probable Decline)   [not much regeneration; suckers; development a threat]
Fleurieu (KAN02) 
 Least Concern
Mount Lofty Ranges (FLB01)Flinders Lofty Block
 Least Concern   [lots of dieback seen]
Broughton (FLB02) 
 Least Concern
Olary Spur (FLB03) 
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D1+2)   (Probable Decline)   [no recruitment]
Southern Flinders (FLB04) 
 Least Concern
Southern Yorke (EYB01)Eyre Yorke Block
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
St Vincent (EYB02) 
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU B2ab(ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)   [on margins of suitable habitat]
Eyre Hills (EYB03) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Talia (EYB04) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))
Eyre Mallee (EYB05) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))
Murray Mallee (MDD02)Murray Darling Depression
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)   [edge of range]
Murray Lakes and Coorong (MDD03) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [edge of range]
Lowan Mallee (MDD04) 
 Least Concern
Wimmera (MDD05) 
 Near Threatened
IBRA regions
Mount Gambier (SVP02)Southern Volcanic PlainLeast Concern
4 of 4 subregionsNaracoorte Coastal PlainLeast Concern
, Near Threatened
2 of 2 subregionsKanmantooLeast Concern
, Near Threatened
4 of 6 subregionsFlinders Lofty BlockLeast Concern
, Vulnerable
5 of 5 subregionsEyre Yorke BlockRare
, Vulnerable
4 of 6 subregionsMurray Darling DepressionLeast Concern
, Near Threatened
, Rare
, Vulnerable
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 Exocarpos]
Name derivation:
Exocarpos from the Greek 'exo' meaning outside and 'caryon' meaning nut, referring to the succulent pedicel resembles a pericarp below the nut. Cupressiformis means shaped like the genus Cupressus (the classic Latin name for Italian Cypress).
Found in the southern part of South Australia growing in lowland or foothills open-forests and woodlands in higher rainfall areas. Also found in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.
Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other States.
Plant description:
Dense shrub or tree to 8 m high with larger spreading or erect, scabrous branches; smaller branches slender, green, pendulous, furrowed. Leaves persistent only on branchlets, reduced to minute spreading triangular or lanceolate scales usually 1-2 mm long. Inflorescence sessile, in short pedunculate spikes, usually only 1 in each spike; fertile, with tiny yellow-green flowers. Flowering between October to May.
Fruit type:
Fruit consists of two parts, fleshy, red pedical (top part) and deep red ovoid to globular nut (bottom part).
Seed type:
Woody brown globular seed to 5 mm long and 4 mm wide with a fleshy orange aril at one end.
Embryo type:
Linear underdeveloped.
Seed collecting:
Collect maturing fruits, the top aril is large, succulent, orange, pink or red and bottom bit is hard and red.
Seed cleaning:
Leave fruits to dry and harden before storing. Fleshy aril can be removed but it can be stored with the seed. 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:
Predation of seeds can be high, however, seed viability is also high.
Seed germination:
This species is generally difficult to germinate, it has morphophysiological dormancy and complex germination requirements.