Seeds of South Australia
Phyllanthus lacunellus (Euphorbiaceae)
Sandhill Spurge
List of species for Phyllanthus
Display more images
Click on an image to enlarge it
Seed collecting:
January to December
Herbarium regions:
Lake Eyre, Gairdner-Torrens, Flinders Ranges, Eastern, Eyre Peninsula, Murray
NRM regions:
Alinytjara Wilurara, Eyre Peninsula, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin
IBRA regions
Northern Flinders (FLB05)Flinders Lofty Block
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))
Dieri (SSD03)Simpson Strzelecki Dunefields
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))
Lake Pure (CHC07)Channel Country
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,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 Phyllanthus]
Name derivation:
Phyllanthus from the Greek 'phyllon' meaning a leaf and 'anthos' meaning a flower; referring to some foreign species where the flowers grow on the edges of dilated leaf-like branchlets. Lacunellus from Latin meaning growing near lake, pond or dykes; referring to the species habitat in sandy rises and edge of lakes. 
Found in the north and north-eastern parts of South Australia, growing on sand dunes and sand plains. Also found in the Northern Territory, Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.
Native. Uncommon in South Australia. Rare in Victoria. Uncommon in the other states.
Plant description:
Prostrate to erect perennial herb to 30 cm high, glabrous, woody at base with a central rootstock. Leaves alternating up the stems, obovate to cuneate, to 12 mm long and 5 mm wide, flat, glabrous, tips blunt. Male and female inflorescence on the same plant with small (less than 3 mm across) flowers in clusters of 1 female and 2 or 3 males at the bases of the leaves. This species is similar to Phyllanthus lacunarius which is an annual without a woody base, growing in clay soils, the fruiting bodies are 3-4 mm in diameter and the seed has a striated texture. Flowers throughout the year.
Fruit type:
Green depressed globular capsule to 2 mm long and 3 mm wide, glabrous, with three lobes.
Seed type:
Brown sectoroid seed to 1.3 mm long and 1 mm wide, with a wrinkled surface.
Embryo type:
Spatulate fully developed.
Seed collecting:
Collect individual mature capsules, those that are drying off, fat and contain dark hard seeds or break off stems to allow capsules to continue to mature. Green capsules can be collected if the seeds are dark and hard.
Seed cleaning:
Place the capsules in a tray and leave to dry for one to two weeks. Then gently rub the capsules with a rubber bung to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieves 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.