Seeds of South Australia
Leptospermum lanigerum (Myrtaceae)
Woolly Tea-tree
List of species for Leptospermum
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Seed collecting:
January to December
Herbarium regions:
Murray, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern
NRM regions:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Kangaroo Island, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
IBRA regions
Mount Gambier (SVP02)Southern Volcanic Plain
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Bridgewater (NCP01)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Near Threatened   (Probable Decline)   [grazed by cows, could be VU]
Glenelg Plain (NCP02) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Lucindale (NCP03) 
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)   [T Horn has more records; needs moisture to persist; edge of range]
Kangaroo Island (KAN01)Kanmantoo
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [mainly found western KI; well-protected]
Fleurieu (KAN02) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   (Probable Decline)   [likes freshwarer areas; habitat quality & drainage - decline; blackberries a threat]
Mount Lofty Ranges (FLB01)Flinders Lofty Block
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   (Probable Decline)   [Scot Creek large pop; likes freshwarer areas; habitat quality & drainage - decline; blackberries a threat]
Murray Mallee (MDD02)Murray Darling Depression
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN B2ab(i,ii,iii); C2a(i); D)   (Definite Decline)   [could be extinct; old Black records]
Murray Lakes and Coorong (MDD03) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))
Wimmera (MDD05) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [edge of range; odd record]
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 Leptospermum]
Name derivation:
Leptospermum from the Greek 'leptos' meaning fine, thin or slender and 'sperma' meaning seed; referring to the narrow seeds of the type species. Lanigerum from the Latin 'laniger' meaning wooly; referring to the hairy leaves, buds and fruits.
Found on Kangaroo Island, Mount Lofty Ranges and the South-east in South Australia,  growing in sandy swamps and fringing watercourses. Also found in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.
Native. Uncommon in South Australia. Common in the other states.
Plant description:
Tall shrub to 4 m high with small stems smooth and larger stems fibrous, persistent. Leaves linear or narrowly elliptic to narrowly obovate, to 20 mm long and 4 mm wide, silky on both surfaces and with a silvery sheen. Inflorescence borne at the ends of short densely leafy side-shoots with white flowers to 15 mm wide. Flowering between October to January.
Fruit type:
Woody hairy fruit to 10 mm wide, persistent.
Seed type:
Brown narrow ovoid seed 3 mm long and 0.8 mm wide, with a linear-striate surface pattern.
Embryo type:
Seed collecting:
Collect mature capsules, those that are turning brown, hard with non-open valves. Mature fruits can remain on the plant unopened for sometime.
Seed cleaning:
Place the capsules in a tray and leave to dry for a week or two. This allows the valves on the fruit to open and release the seeds. Separate the seeds by placing all the materials into a bucket and shaking it to dislodge the seeds. Pass the material through a sieve to separate the unwanted material. The finer material will contain both seeds and frass usually distinguishable from each other. With finer sieves, the seeds can be separated from the frass but this is not essential for storage or propagation. 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 high, at 90%.
Seed germination:
Seeds are non-dormant, viable seed should germinate readily.
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
123342 (9.95 g)
3111-May-2004MKJ 32
Southern Lofty
1-Sep-200490%+5°C, -18°C
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.