Seeds of South Australia
Gyrostemon thesioides (Gyrostemonaceae)
Broom Wheel-fruit
List of species for Gyrostemon
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Seed collecting:
September to January
Herbarium regions:
Flinders Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern
NRM regions:
Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
IBRA regions
Bridgewater (NCP01)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)   [no recent records, needs more survey work]
Lucindale (NCP03) 
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)   [no recent records, needs more survey work]
Tintinara (NCP04) 
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)
Kangaroo Island (KAN01)Kanmantoo
 Least Concern   [comes up after fire]
Fleurieu (KAN02) 
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D1+2)   [1 record]
Southern Flinders (FLB04)Flinders Lofty Block
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))
Central Flinders (FLB06) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [rain & fire dependent]
Southern Yorke (EYB01)Eyre Yorke Block
 Rare   (IUCN: RA b)   (Probable Decline)   [Likes fire ]
Eyre Hills (EYB03) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   (Probable Decline)
Talia (EYB04) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   (Probable Decline)
Eyre Mallee (EYB05) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   (Probable Decline)
Murray Mallee (MDD02)Murray Darling Depression
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)   [not often seen]
Lowan Mallee (MDD04) 
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)   [could be G australasicus]
Wimmera (MDD05) 
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)
IBRA regions
3 of 4 subregionsNaracoorte Coastal PlainVulnerable
2 of 2 subregionsKanmantooLeast Concern
, Vulnerable
2 of 6 subregionsFlinders Lofty BlockRare
4 of 5 subregionsEyre Yorke BlockRare
3 of 6 subregionsMurray Darling DepressionVulnerable
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 Gyrostemon]
Name derivation:
Gyrostemon from the Greek 'gyros' meaning a circle and 'stemon' meaning a stamen; alluding to the whorled stamens. Thesioides means resembling the genus Thesium (the bastard toadflax, with which Theseus crowned  his wife Ariadne with a garland).
Found in the southern part of South Australia, growing on sandy soil. Also found in Western Australia, New South Wales and Tasmania.
Native. Uncommon in South Australia. Rare in the other states. More common post fire.
Plant description:
Short lived shrubs to 70 cm high, with slender erect almost virgate branches usually with decurrent ridges from the leaf bases when young. Leaves linear, to 20 mm long and 1.5 mm wide, usually sharply acute, more or less angular-terete, erect to almost appressed to the stems. Male flowers with erect pedicels to 1 mm long and 4 mm across at anthesis, with the calyx broadly lobed, with 9-12 anthers in 1 whorl. Female flowers with pedicels rarely to 1 mm long, with the calyx distinctly lobed and acute, with 2 rarely 1 carpels each with a long stigma usually recurved onto the almost orbicular ovary. Flowering between June and November.
Fruit type:
Reddish fan-shaped fruit to 2 mm long, fleshy with multiple segments.
Seed type:
Orange to brown reniform seeds to 2 mm long and 1.5 mm wide, with a rugose surface and a yellowish aril
Embryo type:
Curved linear fully developed.
Seed collecting:
Collect fruits that are fat, turning reddish or starting to dry and fall off easily.
Seed cleaning:
Place the fruits in a tray and leave to dry for a week. Then rub the fruit gently by hand to dislodge the seeds from the papery wing. Use a sieve to separate the 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.
Seed viability:
From one collection, the seed viability was low, at 30%.
Seed germination:
This species is generally difficult to germinate, it has morphophysiological dormancy and complex germination requirements. This species is considered a fire responsive species.
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
34500 (25.8 g)
34500 (25.8 g)
Kangaroo Island
Location: BGA — the seeds are stored at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens, MSB — the seeds are stored at the Millennium Seed Bank, Kew, England.
Number of plants: This is the number of plants from which the seeds were collected.
Collection location: The Herbarium of South Australia's region name.
% Viability: Percentage of filled healthy seeds determined by a cut test or x-ray.