Seeds of South Australia
Polygala glaucifolia (Polygalaceae)
Hairy Mat Milkwort
List of species for Polygala
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Seed collecting:
January to December
Herbarium regions:
North Western, Lake Eyre
NRM regions:
Alinytjara Wilurara, South Australian Arid Lands
AVH map:
Australian distribution map (external link)
SA Census:
Census of South Australian plants (external link)     [genus Polygala]
Name derivation:
Polygala from the Latin form of Greek 'polys' meaning much and 'gala' meaning milk; referring to a belief that animals eating some plants in the genus produced more milk. Glaucifolia from the Latin 'glaucus' meaning bluish and 'folium' meaning leaves; referring to the blue-grey colour of the leaves.
Found in the far north and north-western parts of South Australia, growing in a variety of habitats including gravelly or rocky slopes, foot hills drainage lines and flats on loam, sandy loam or clay soils. Also found in Western Australia, Northern Territory and Queensland.
Native. Uncommon in South Australia. Rare in Queensland. Common in the other states.
Plant description:
Decumbent annual herb to 11 cm high and spreading to 20 cm wide, covered in soft hairs. Leaves obovate to oblanceolate, to 21 mm long and 14 mm wide. Inflorescence spikes to 11 mm long in leaf axils with small light blue to purple pea-liked flowers. Flowering possible throughout the year depending on rain.
Fruit type:
Pale brown ovoid capsule to 5.5 mm long and 4 mm wide.
Seed type:
Dark brown ovoid seed to 4 mm long and 1.5 mm wide, covered in long hairs and two long creamy arils at the narrow end.
Embryo type:
Spatulate fully developed.
Seed collecting:
Collect capsules that are turning brown with dark seeds inside. Seeds can also be collected from the ground under the plants.
Seed cleaning:
Place the capsules in a tray and leave to dry for a week. Then gently rub the pods 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 viability:
From two collections, the seed viability was average to high, ranging from 75% to 100%.
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
1500 (3.14 g)
1500 (3.14 g)
Lake Eyre
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
Jul-1668%7 d14 d 250 mg/L gibberellic acid 24 h;
1% agar;
Incubated under spring/autumn conditions
Jul-1658%7 d7 d 250 mg/L gibberellic acid 24 h;
1% agar;
Incubated under summer conditions
Jul-164%14 dNA
1% agar;
Incubated under summer conditions
Jul-162%28 dNA
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)