Seeds of South Australia
Gahnia hystrix (Cyperaceae)
Kangaroo Island Spiky Saw-sedge
List of species for Gahnia
Display more images
Click on an image to enlarge it
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.  
Endemic to South Australia and found only on the western side of Kangaroo Island, growing on limestone along the coast.
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:
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.