Seeds of South Australia
Gahnia hystrix (Cyperaceae)
Kangaroo Island Spiky Saw-sedge
List of species for Gahnia
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Herbarium region:
Kangaroo Island
NRM region:
Kangaroo Island
IBRA region
Kangaroo Island (KAN01)Kanmantoo
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [endemic to KI]
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 Gahnia]
Name derivation:
Gahnia named after Dr. Henricus Gahn, 19th century Swedish botanist and student of Linnaeus. Hystrix from Greek meaning a hedgehog; alluding to the spiky nature of the species.  
Distribution:
Endemic to South Australia and found only on the western side of Kangaroo Island, growing on limestone along the coast.
Status:
Native. Rare in South Australia.
Plant description:
Low dense and spiky sedge to 15 cm high. Leaf blades terete and more or less channelled, smooth, rigid, pungent-pointed, erect, to 7 cm long and 0.5 mm wide. Inflorescence a small spike-like panicle much shorter and almost concealed by the leaves, pale brown. Flowering between November and January.
Fruit type:
Dark brown spike.
Seed type:
Yellowish brown three sided ovoid seed to 3 mm long and 1.7 mm wide, shiny.
Embryo type:
Capitate.
Seed collecting:
Collect heads that are dying off, turning dark brown and containing hard seeds. Be very careful when collecting as the heads are sometime hidden among the spiky leaves.
Seed cleaning:
Place the heads in a tray and leave to dry for one to two weeks. Then rub the heads with a rubber bung to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate any 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.