Seeds of South Australia
Lobelia rhombifolia (Campanulaceae)
Tufted Lobelia
List of species for Lobelia
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Seed collecting:
October to February
Herbarium regions:
Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern
NRM regions:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Kangaroo Island, South East
IBRA regions
Glenelg Plain (NCP02)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D2)   [(no records) T Horn has records]
Tintinara (NCP04) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Kangaroo Island (KAN01)Kanmantoo
 Least Concern   [fluctuates; fire responsive]
Fleurieu (KAN02) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [fluctuates; fire responsive; limited range]
Mount Lofty Ranges (FLB01)Flinders Lofty Block
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [fluctuates; fire responsive; limited range]
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 Lobelia]
Name derivation:
Lobelia named after Mathias de Lobel (1538-1616), physician to William of Orange and then botanist to James I of England. Rhombifolia from the Latin 'rhombicus' meaning a rhomb (diamond shape) and 'folium' meaning a leaf; referring to the species diamond-shaped leaves.
Found on Kangaroo Island, southern Mount Lofty Ranges and in the upper South-east in South Australia, growing on sandy or gravelly sites, often common after fires. Also found in Western Australia, Victoria and Tasmania.
Native. Uncommon in South Australia. Rare in Tasmania. Common in the other states.
Plant description:
Annual herbs to 20 cm high, with a tap root and usually with several branches from the base. Leaves broadly obovate to rhombic-obovate with a cuneate base and few often rounded teeth at the base of the plant becoming oblanceolate to linear-elliptic, with coarse distant serrations, to 15 mm long and 12 mm wide, glabrous. Flowers on long stalk to 10 cm long from leaf-like bracts, with blue flowers, lobes oblong-triangular, the tube paler blue than the lobes and split along the upper side, the upper 2 lobes recurved and glabrous, the lower median lobe oblanceolate, blue with a yellow spot in front of the throat and longer than the similar 2 lateral lobes. Flowering between October and February.
Fruit type:
Brown obovoid capsule to 8 mm long.
Seed type:
Orange to brown ellipsoid seed to 0.3 mm long and 0.2 mm wide, smooth surface.
Embryo type:
Linear under-developed.
Seed collecting:
Collect mature capsules, those that are fat, turning a pale straw colour and contain orange seeds.
Seed cleaning:
Place the capsules in a tray and leave to dry for one weeks. Then rub the capsules gently by hand to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate the unwanted material. Be careful as the seeds are very small. 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 two collections, the seed viability were average to high, ranging from 55% to 90%.
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
107500 (0.77 g)
107500 (0.77 g)
Southern Lofty
BGA23200 (0.27 g)4030-Oct-2007RJB75635
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.