Seeds of South Australia
Psilotum nudum (Psilotaceae)
Skeleton Club-moss
List of species for Psilotum
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Seed collecting:
August to October
Herbarium region:
Southern Lofty
NRM region:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges
IBRA region
Mount Lofty Ranges (FLB01)Flinders Lofty Block
 Critically Endangered   (IUCN: CR D)   (Definite Decline)   [discussion between RE & CR; Extinct in the wild but will be re-introduced into Mt Bold; only in Mt Lofty Bot Gdns]
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 Psilotum]
Name derivation:
Psilotum from the Greek 'psilos' meaning bare; referring to the extreme minuteness of the leaves (scales) giving stem an apparent nakedness. Nudum from the Latin 'nudus' meaning naked; referring the naked nature of the stems. The species is considered a primitive plant and possibly a descendent of the first group of vascular plants and Psilotum nudum means "bare naked" because it lacks most of the organs of modern vascular plants.
Distribution:
Found only in one location in the southern Mount Lofty Ranges in South Australia, growing on exposed rock-crevices. Also found in all mainland states (and Norfolk Is. New Zealand, Easter Is., tropical parts of all continents).
Status:
Native. Very rare in South Australia. Rare in Western Australia and Victoria. Common in the other states.
Plant description:

Erect to somewhat pendent terrestrial fern-like plant to 60 cm high, without roots but have rhizome that are mycorrhizal and bears rhizoids. Aerial stems yellow-green, much-branched towards the tips, circular to triangular in section. Leaves scale-like, sparse, spirally arranged on stem-ridges, less than 3 mm long, green and fleshy when young then dry and colourless to brown. 

Fruit type:
Yellow synangium (a fused aggregate of sporangia) to 3 mm diameter produced in place of scales in younger parts of plant.
Seed type:
Very tiny spores.
Seed collecting:
Collect synangium that are fat and turning yellow, these will contain mature sporohylls with spores. Place them in a seal paper bag to prevent spores from fulling out.
Seed cleaning:
Leave fronds in the paper bag to dry. The spores will fall off naturally or give the fronds a gentle shake. Use a very fine sieve to separate any unwanted material. Be careful as the spores are very fine. Store spores in an air tight container in a cool and dry place or in a -20oC freezer.