Seeds of South Australia
Lythrum hyssopifolia (Lythraceae)
Hyssop Loosestrife
List of species for Lythrum
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Seed collecting:
December to April
Herbarium regions:
Gairdner-Torrens, Flinders Ranges, Eastern, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern
NRM regions:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
IBRA regions
Mount Gambier (SVP02)Southern Volcanic Plain
 Least Concern
Bridgewater (NCP01)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Near Threatened   [not typical habitat]
Glenelg Plain (NCP02) 
 Least Concern   [T Horn has more records]
Lucindale (NCP03) 
 Least Concern
Tintinara (NCP04) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [edge of range]
Kangaroo Island (KAN01)Kanmantoo
 Least Concern
Fleurieu (KAN02) 
 Least Concern
Mount Lofty Ranges (FLB01)Flinders Lofty Block
 Least Concern
Broughton (FLB02) 
 Least Concern
Southern Flinders (FLB04) 
 Least Concern
Central Flinders (FLB06) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [restricted to lagoons, comes & goes]
St Vincent (EYB02)Eyre Yorke Block
 Least Concern   [spread by human activity; Can be weedy, restricted to wet areas]
Eyre Hills (EYB03) 
 Least Concern
Murray Mallee (MDD02)Murray Darling Depression
 Least Concern   (Probable Increase)
Murray Lakes and Coorong (MDD03) 
 Least Concern
Lowan Mallee (MDD04) 
 Least Concern
Wimmera (MDD05) 
 Least Concern
Murray Scroll Belt (RIV06)Riverina
 Least Concern   (Probable Increase)
Myall Plains (GAW01)Gawler
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Arcoona Plateau (GAW04) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Roxby (GAW07) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [restricted to lagoons, comes & goes]
Barrier Range (BHC01)Broken Hill Complex
 Least Concern
IBRA regions
Mount Gambier (SVP02)Southern Volcanic PlainLeast Concern
4 of 4 subregionsNaracoorte Coastal PlainLeast Concern
, Near Threatened
, Rare
2 of 2 subregionsKanmantooLeast Concern
4 of 6 subregionsFlinders Lofty BlockLeast Concern
, Rare
2 of 5 subregionsEyre Yorke BlockLeast Concern
4 of 6 subregionsMurray Darling DepressionLeast Concern
Murray Scroll Belt (RIV06)RiverinaLeast Concern
  (Probable Increase)
3 of 8 subregionsGawlerRare
Barrier Range (BHC01)Broken Hill ComplexLeast 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 Lythrum]
Name derivation:
Lythrum an ancient name used by Dioscorides and is from the Greek 'lythron' meaning black blood; referring to the purple colour of the flowers of some species, but it has been suggested that it refers to some styptic property of the plant. Hyssopifolia means having leaves like the genus Hyssopus (which is from the old Hebrew 'esob' meaning holy herb, a herb referred to in the scriptures as a symbol of purification and was used in the ritual cleansing of churches and in religious painting to symbolize humility.
Found in the southern part of South Australia, growing in moist habitat or near water. Also found in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania (and southern Europe). Introduced to Western Australia.
Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other states.
Plant description:
Decumbent to ascending annual herb to 50 cm high, glabrous with ribbed stems. Leaves mostly alternating up the stems, some almost opposite, linear to oblong to 40 mm long and 10 mm wide, flat, hairless. Inflorescence solitary in upper leaf axils with small (less than 3mm across) tubular pink, blue or purple flowers. Flowering between October and February.
Fruit type:
Small brown oblong capsule opening by 2–4 valves.
Embryo type:
Seed collecting:
Collect mature capsules, those that are turning brown in colour and contain brown seeds. Whole stem containing many clusters of fruit can be collected.
Seed cleaning:
Place the capsules in a tray and leave to dry for two weeks. Then rub the capsules gently by hand to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate the unwanted material. Be very 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 germination:
Seeds are non-dormant, viable seed should germinate readily.