Seeds of South Australia
Prasophyllum occidentale (Orchidaceae)
Western Leek-orchid
List of species for Prasophyllum
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Seed collecting:
October to December
Herbarium regions:
Flinders Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern
NRM regions:
Eyre Peninsula, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
IBRA regions
Bridgewater (NCP01)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)   [could be extinct]
Lucindale (NCP03) 
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)   [taxonomic issues]
Tintinara (NCP04) 
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)   [taxonomic issues]
Kangaroo Island (KAN01)Kanmantoo
 Regionally Extinct   [presumed extinct]
Broughton (FLB02)Flinders Lofty Block
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN D)   (Definite Decline)   [Only present in Mokota. Taxonomic Issues.]
Southern Flinders (FLB04) 
 Least Concern   (Probable Decline)   [Small decline.]
Northern Flinders (FLB05) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   (Probable Decline)   [northern edge of range]
Central Flinders (FLB06) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   (Probable Decline)   [northern edge of range]
Southern Yorke (EYB01)Eyre Yorke Block
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN D)   (Definite Decline)   [Very few individuals, massive decline.]
St Vincent (EYB02) 
 Critically Endangered   (IUCN: CR A2ac)   (Definite Decline)   [Last recorded in 1993. Loss of habitat. Massive decline.]
Eyre Hills (EYB03) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   (Probable Decline)
Talia (EYB04) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   (Probable Decline)
Eyre Mallee (EYB05) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   (Probable Decline)
Murray Mallee (MDD02)Murray Darling Depression
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)
Murray Lakes and Coorong (MDD03) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   (Probable Decline)
Wimmera (MDD05) 
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)   [taxonomic issues]
Murray Scroll Belt (RIV06)Riverina
 Data Deficient   [on Katarapko Is, mostly likely gone]
Gawler Volcanics (GAW02)Gawler
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   (Probable Decline)
IBRA regions
3 of 4 subregionsNaracoorte Coastal PlainEndangered
Kangaroo Island (KAN01)KanmantooRegionally Extinct
  [presumed extinct]
4 of 6 subregionsFlinders Lofty BlockLeast Concern
, Rare
, Endangered
5 of 5 subregionsEyre Yorke BlockRare
, Endangered
, Critically Endangered
3 of 6 subregionsMurray Darling DepressionRare
, Vulnerable
, Endangered
Murray Scroll Belt (RIV06)RiverinaData Deficient
  [on Katarapko Is, mostly likely gone]
Gawler Volcanics (GAW02)GawlerRare
  (IUCN: RA d(ii))   (Probable Decline)
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 Prasophyllum]
Name derivation:
Prasophyllum from the Greek ‘prason’ meaning a leek and ‘phyllon’ meaning a leaf, referring to the leek-like orchid leaf. Occidentale from Latin meaning western, referring to the tyre specimen which was made on the West coast from Streaky bay in 1907.
Found in the southern part of South Australia from the Eyre Peninsula, northern Flinders Ranges to the upper South East, growing in open areas in grassland, shrubland and woodland. Once collected on Kangaroo Island but presumed extinct. Also found in Victoria.
Native. Common in South Australia. Uncommon in Victoria.
Plant description:
Slender terrestrial orchid to 30 cm tall, leaf with a red based, apex slender and lax. Inflorescence in a loose spike with numerous, sweetly scented, pale yellow-green or with purplish tints flowers. Dorsal sepal to 7 mm long, ovate-lanceolate, decurved, laterals sepals often conjoined, petals oblong, spreading forward. Labellum to 8 mm, recurved near the middle, with a triangular, pale green or pink lamina with crisped crenulate margins, the callus with a broad base before the bend, thereafter narrower more raised and glistening. Flowering between August and October.
Fruit type:
Pale brown papery ellipsoid capsules along the spike.
Seed type:
Very small orange-brown ellipsoid seed with a long cylindrical translucent brown mesh-like covering.
Seed collecting:
Collect fat capsules as they start to dry and turn brown. Pods will split and release the seeds quickly and will require monitoring. To increase the chances of collecting mature pods, it is recommended that a small breathable bag (ie. Organza bags) be used to enclose the developing capsules.
Seed cleaning:
Place the capsules in a container that will hold fine seeds and leave to dry for a few weeks or until the capsule split. Then carefully hold the capsule and tap it gently to release the seeds. 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, refrigerator or in liquid nitrogen.
Seed viability:
For the NVC South East Orchid Project one population consisting of more than  8 individuals was recorded from Swedes Flat. Approximately 90,000 seeds (0.07 g) were banked. Seed viability was 93%.
Seed germination:
Seed germination for Prasophyllum is difficult in the absence of symbiotic mycorrhizal fungi. More research is needed to understand the requirements for seed germination in Prasophyllum species.