Seeds of South Australia
Luzula ovata (Juncaceae)
Oval Wood-rush
List of species for Luzula
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Seed collecting:
October to January
Herbarium regions:
North Western, Murray, Southern Lofty, South Eastern
NRM regions:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
IBRA regions
Mount Gambier (SVP02)Southern Volcanic Plain
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D2)
Lucindale (NCP03)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)
Fleurieu (KAN02)Kanmantoo
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)   [red-gum habitat; small pops; weeds a threat]
Mount Lofty Ranges (FLB01)Flinders Lofty Block
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)   [red-gum habitat; small pops; weeds a threat]
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 Luzula]
Name derivation:
Luzula possibly from the Italian 'luzziola' meaning sparkle or a fire-fly or from the Latin 'luxulae 'meaning light; probably alluding to the sparkling and quivering character of the heads when wet with dew. Ovata from the Latin 'ovatus' meaning ovate; referring to its single ovate heads.
Found in the Mount Lofty Ranges and the lower South-east in South Australia, growing in swampy areas. Also found in New South Wales and possible Victoria (which treated this species as a reduced forms of Luzula densiflora).
Native. Rare in South Australia. Common in the other states.
Plant description:
Small perennial sedge with slender tufts, slightly bulbous at base with bright green leaves later becoming reddish. Leaves to 4 mm wide, much shorter than the flowering stems, flaccid, flat, with moderately to densely hairy margins, tips obtuse. Inflorescence a single ovate congested cluster with many pale red-brown flowers at the end of a long erect stalk. Flowering between September and December.
Fruit type:
Dense clusters of smooth deep purple red capsules.
Seed type:
Black ellipsoid seed to 1.2 mm long and 0.9 mm wide, with a large white fleshy appendage at one end.
Embryo type:
Seed collecting:
Collect fruits either by picking off the mature heads, those turning deep red and come-off easily or break-off the whole spikes.
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. Be careful, as the seeds are very small. Seeds are brown and hard. 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 high, at 100%.
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
2075 (0.897+ g)
2075 (2.07 g)
~2022-Dec-2004MKJ 59
Southern Lofty
BGA10000 (3.17 g)2031-Oct-2007RJB75420
South Eastern
19-Sep-2008100%+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.