Seeds of South Australia
Melaleuca decussata (Myrtaceae)
Cross-leaved Honey-myrtle
List of species for Melaleuca
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Seed collecting:
January to December
Herbarium regions:
Eyre Peninsula, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern
NRM regions:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, Northern and Yorke, South East
IBRA regions
Lucindale (NCP03)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU B2ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v); D2)   (Probable Decline)
Fleurieu (KAN02)Kanmantoo
 Least Concern   [some losses at Knott Hill]
Mount Lofty Ranges (FLB01)Flinders Lofty Block
 Near Threatened   [water/climate senstive]
Southern Yorke (EYB01)Eyre Yorke Block
 Least Concern   (Probable Decline)   [in wetter areas]
Eyre Hills (EYB03) 
 Least Concern   [likes wetter areas]
Talia (EYB04) 
 Least Concern   [likes wetter areas]
Eyre Mallee (EYB05) 
 Least Concern   [likes wetter areas]
Murray Mallee (MDD02)Murray Darling Depression
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [edge of range]
Murray Lakes and Coorong (MDD03) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))
Lowan Mallee (MDD04) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [easy to confuse with M gibbosa]
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. Decussata from Latin meaning shaped like an X; alluding to the outline formed by the leaves, borne in pairs at right angles to each other.
Found on the Eyre Peninsula, Yorke Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, southern Mount Lofty Ranges and the lower South-east in South Australia, growing along watercourses, in swampy heathland, rocky outcrops and sandy flats. Also found in Victoria.
Native. Common in South Australia. Common in Victoria.
Plant description:
Slender shrub to 3 m high, glabrous except for the very sparsely pubescent stems. Leaves decussate, linear to oblanceolate, to 15 mm long and 3 mm wide, often weakly keeled, rounded-obtuse, distinctly glandular below, obscurely 3-nerved on both surfaces. Inflorescence a cylindrical spike to 25 mm long and 15 mm wide with 3-9 pairs, pink to purple flowers. Flowers in spring to late summer.
Fruit type:
Grey-brown woody, flask-shaped capsule to 4 mm diameter, on leafy stems.
Seed type:
Tiny brown ovoid to cylindrical seed to 1.2 mm long and 0.5 mm wide.
Embryo type:
Seed collecting:
Collect capsules that are large and hard with closed valves.
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 95%.
Seed germination:
Seeds are non-dormant, viable seed should germinate readily.
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
55850 (11.17 g)
55850 (11.17 g)
Southern Lofty
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.