Seeds of South Australia
Melaleuca cuticularis (Myrtaceae)
Western Swamp-paperbark
List of species for Melaleuca
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Seed collecting:
January to December
Herbarium region:
Kangaroo Island
NRM region:
Kangaroo Island
IBRA region
Kangaroo Island (KAN01)Kanmantoo
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU B2ab(i,ii,iii); D2)   (Probable Decline)   [found in salt lagoons; at risk from roadworks; WA sp]
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 Melaleuca]
Name derivation:
Melaleuca from the Greek 'melas' meaning black and 'leucon' meaning white; alluding to the contrasting colours of the bark of the first species described, which is said to have had white branches against a black trunk. Cuticularis from the Latin 'cuticula' meaning pertaining to the cuticle; referring to the numerous strips of skin-like bark coming away from the trunk and branches.
Distribution:
Found only in the eastern side of Kangaroo Island in South Australia, growing in sand or clay in winter-wet depressions, salt lakes, coastal areas and watercourses. Also found in Western Australia.
Status:
Native. Very rare in South Australia. Common in Western Australia.
Plant description:
Tall shrub or tree  to 12 m high with trunk covered in a pale papery bark,connects to rigid and torturous branches. Leaves linear to oblong, grey-green to dark green in colour to 12 mm long and 3 mm wide. Inflorescence in clusters of 3 with white or cream flowers, located on the ends of the branches and surrounded by overlapping brown bracts. Flowering between September and January.
Fruit type:
Grey-brown star-shaped woody capsule to 11 mm long, persisting on the branches.
Seed type:
Tiny brown rectangular or pyrimid seed to 1.2 mm long and 0.5 mm wide.
Embryo type:
Folded.
Seed collecting:

Collect capsules that are large and hard with closed valves.

In 2016 a seed collection was achieved for the single known roadside population on Kangaroo island with the support of the Australian Seed Bank Partnership

Seed cleaning:
Place the capsules in a tray and leave to dry for at least two weeks or until all the valves are open. Then place all the capsules into a bucket with a lid if possible and shake hard to dislodge the seeds from the capsules. Use a sieve to separate the seeds from the capsules. The fine material will contain the seeds and other flowering material. It is very difficult to separate the seeds from this other material as the size, shape and weight are very similar. However the seeds will be a darker brown. 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 100%.
Seed germination:
Seeds are non-dormant, viable seed should germinate readily.
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
BGA 
MSB
412500
412500
1519-Feb-2003PJA 42
Kangaroo Island
1-Sep-2004100%+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.
Germination table:
DateResultT0T50Pre-treatment | Germination medium | Incubator: Photoperiod / Thermoperiod
Jun-04100%15 d31 d 20% hydrogen peroxide 10 min, water rinse;
1% agar;
8/16;  /  20°C
Jun-1793%2121
1% agar;
Incubated under winter conditions
Jul-1783%2121
1% agar;
Incubated under spring/autumn conditions
Result: Maximum percentage of germination observed.
T0: Number of days before first germinant observed.
T50: Number of days to achieve 50% germination.
Pre-treatment: The initial treatment that the seeds received prior to placement on germination media.
Germination medium: The substrate that seeds were placed on for the duration of the germination experiment.
Incubator conditions:
Photoperiod: The duration of light exposure that the seeds were subject to during a 24 hour period.
Thermoperiod: The constant or diurnal temperatures that seeds were subject to during a 24 hour period.
Winter conditions: 15°C 20 h (3am→11pm); 5°C 4 h (11pm→3am) / 10 h light (8am→6pm); 14 h dark (6pm→8am)
Spring/Autumn conditions: 22°C 12 h (8am→8pm); 10°C 12 h (8pm→8am) / 12 h light (8am→8pm); 12 h dark (8pm→8am)
Summer conditions: 30°C 14 h (6am→8pm); 15°C 10 h (8pm→6am) / 14 h light (6am→8pm); 10 h dark (8pm→6am)