Seeds of South Australia
Patersonia fragilis (Iridaceae)
Short Purple-flag
List of species for Patersonia
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Seed collecting:
December to March
Herbarium regions:
Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern
NRM regions:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Kangaroo Island, South East
IBRA regions
Mount Gambier (SVP02)Southern Volcanic Plain
 Near Threatened   [restricted to reserves only]
Glenelg Plain (NCP02)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Near Threatened   [restricted to reserves only]
Lucindale (NCP03) 
 Near Threatened   [habitat quality declining, drying out]
Tintinara (NCP04) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   (Probable Decline)   [habitat quality declining, drying out]
Kangaroo Island (KAN01)Kanmantoo
 Near Threatened
Fleurieu (KAN02) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   (Probable Decline)   [highly localised; needs damp sand; limited habitat; drying out]
Mount Lofty Ranges (FLB01)Flinders Lofty Block
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)   [highly localised; needs damp sand]
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 Patersonia]
Name derivation:
Patersonia named after William Paterson (1755-1810), an early botanical collector in Australia and Lieutenant Governor of New South Wales from 1800-1810. Fragilis from Latin meaning fragile; possible referring to the smaller so more delicate flowers of this species.
Found on kangaroo Island, southern Mount Lofty Ranges and the lower South-east in South Australia, growing in wet coastal heathlands and open woodlands in sandy soils. Also found in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.
Native. Uncommon in South Australia. Common in the other states.
Plant description:
Sedge-like perennial forming round clumps to 50 cm high, greyish-green in appearance with twisted narrow-linear, rigidly and erect leaves to 55 cm long and 3 mm wide, deeply grooved. Inflorescence a single blue flower at the terminal of a stalk that is shorter than the leaves. Flowering between October and December.
Fruit type:
Long brown, three-celled capsule to 3 cm long, triangular in cross section.
Embryo type:
Linear under-developed.
Seed collecting:
Collect mature capsules, those that are drying off and turning pale brown with hard brown seeds inside.
Seed cleaning:
Place the capsules in a tray and leave to dry for one to two weeks. Then rub the capsules gently by hand to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate the unwanted material. 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.