Seeds of South Australia
Lythrum paradoxum (Lythraceae)
Strange Loosestrife
List of species for Lythrum
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Seed collecting:
February to June
Herbarium regions:
North Western, Flinders Ranges
NRM regions:
Alinytjara Wilurara, South Australian Arid Lands
IBRA regions
Southern Flinders (FLB04)Flinders Lofty Block
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D2)   [arid zone spp. Possible miss ID]
Northern Flinders (FLB05) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Central Flinders (FLB06) 
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU B2ab(i,ii,iii); D2)   (Probable Decline)
Murnpeowie (STP03)Stony Plains
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Mann-Musgrave Block (CER01)Central Ranges
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
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. Paradoxum from the Latin 'paradoxus' meaning paradoxical, contrary to the usual type; not sure what this is referring to.
Found in the northern Flinders Ranges and far north-western corner in South Australia, growing in damp places on heavy soils. Also found in all mainland states.
Native. Rare in South Australia. Rare in Western Australia, Victoria and New South Wales. Uncommon in the Northern Territory. Common in Queensland.
Plant description:
Erect annual or perennial herb, to 60 cm high with glabrous, ribbed to winged stems. Leaves alternate, sessile, narrow-ovate to linear, to 70 mm long and 10 mm wide, apex acute, base rounded to obtuse. Inflorescence in clusters with 1–7 pink or purple tubular flowers in the axils of leaves, sepals 4–6, triangular, petals 4–6, spreading, broadly ovate, stamens double the number of the petals, exserted. Flowering between December to April.
Fruit type:
Brown papery cylindrical capsule, splitting by 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.