Seeds of South Australia
Lawrencia spicata (Malvaceae)
Salt Lawrencia
List of species for Lawrencia
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Seed collecting:
December to April
Herbarium regions:
North Western, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern
NRM regions:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, Northern and Yorke, South East
IBRA regions
Bridgewater (NCP01)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Least Concern
Lucindale (NCP03) 
 Least Concern
Tintinara (NCP04) 
 Least Concern
Kangaroo Island (KAN01)Kanmantoo
 Near Threatened   [short-lived perennial, drops out after 2 years]
Southern Yorke (EYB01)Eyre Yorke Block
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)   [saline soils, restricted habitat]
St Vincent (EYB02) 
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)   [saline soils, restricted habitat]
Eyre Hills (EYB03) 
 Least Concern
Talia (EYB04) 
 Least Concern
Eyre Mallee (EYB05) 
 Least Concern
Murray Lakes and Coorong (MDD03)Murray Darling Depression
 Least Concern
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 Lawrencia]
Name derivation:
Lawrencia named after Robert Williams Lawrence (1807-33), an English-born botanist and plant collector in Tasmania. Spicata from the Latin 'spica' meaning a spike; referring to its erect spike-like habit.
Found in the southern part of South Australia, growing  mainly along the coast in saltmarsh communities and in saline depressions and around salt lakes. Also found in Western Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.
Native. Common in South Australia. Very rare in New South Wales. Common in the other states.
Plant description:
Slender, erect, glabrous, fleshy herb to 120 cm high with 1 to few stems, often purplish towards the base. Leaves bright yellow-green, flat and stiff, the lower initially forming a rosette, ovate or oblong, to 7 cm long, on a long stalk, margin serrated. Upper leaves narrower, on a shorter stalk. Inflorescence an erect spike occupying one-third of the stem with bisexual greenish or yellowish flowers. Flowering between October and February.
Fruit type:
Glabrous trigonous-ovoid fruit to 3 mm long consisting of a number of seed segments with a pointed apex.
Seed type:
Dark brown to black wedge-shaped seed to 2 mm long and 1 mm wide, with a pointy apex.
Embryo type:
Seed collecting:
Collect mature fruits, those that are turning a brown colour and the segments contain dark hard seeds.
Seed cleaning:
Place the fruits in a tray and leave to dry for one to two weeks. Then rub the fruits gently by hand to separate the  seed segments. 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 average, at 75%
Seed germination:
This species has physical dormancy that needs to be overcome for the seed to germinate (e.g. nicking or softening the seed coat).
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
9500 (17.8 g)
9500 (17.8 g)
South Eastern
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.