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.
Distribution:
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.
Status:
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.