Seeds of South Australia
Schenkia australis (Gentianaceae)
Spike Centaury
List of species for Schenkia
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Seed collecting:
January to May
Herbarium regions:
North Western, Lake Eyre, Nullarbor, Gairdner-Torrens, Flinders Ranges, Eastern, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern
NRM regions:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Alinytjara Wilurara, Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
IBRA regions
Bridgewater (NCP01)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [newly described spp.]
Lucindale (NCP03) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [newly described spp.]
Tintinara (NCP04) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [newly described spp.]
Kangaroo Island (KAN01)Kanmantoo
 Least Concern
Fleurieu (KAN02) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [weedy; undercollected]
Mount Lofty Ranges (FLB01)Flinders Lofty Block
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [likes salt, arid sp, more likely on floodplains; in Aldinga Scrub; name change, some northern records doubtful]
Northern Flinders (FLB05) 
 Least Concern
Eyre Hills (EYB03)Eyre Yorke Block
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Talia (EYB04) 
 Least Concern
Eyre Mallee (EYB05) 
 Least Concern
South Olary Plain (MDD01)Murray Darling Depression
 Least Concern   [new name for Centaurium spicatum, prev thought a weed]
Lowan Mallee (MDD04) 
 Least Concern   [new name for Centaurium spicatum, prev thought a weed]
Tallaringa (GVD05)Great Victoria Desert
 Near Threatened
Yalata (NUL03)Nullarbor
 Data Deficient
Hampton (HAM01)Hampton
 Data Deficient
Dieri (SSD03)Simpson Strzelecki Dunefields
 Least Concern
Strzelecki Desert (SSD05) 
 Least Concern
Murnpeowie (STP03)Stony Plains
 Least Concern
Macumba (STP05) 
 Near Threatened
Witjira (STP06) 
 Near Threatened
Baltana (STP07) 
 Least Concern
Sturt Stony Desert (CHC02)Channel Country
 Least Concern
Diamantina-Eyre (CHC04) 
 Least Concern
Coongie (CHC06) 
 Least Concern
Lake Pure (CHC07) 
 Least Concern
Everard Block (CER03)Central Ranges
 Near Threatened
IBRA regions
3 of 4 subregionsNaracoorte Coastal PlainRare
2 of 2 subregionsKanmantooLeast Concern
, Rare
2 of 6 subregionsFlinders Lofty BlockLeast Concern
, Rare
3 of 5 subregionsEyre Yorke BlockLeast Concern
, Rare
2 of 6 subregionsMurray Darling DepressionLeast Concern
Tallaringa (GVD05)Great Victoria DesertNear Threatened
Yalata (NUL03)NullarborData Deficient
Hampton (HAM01)HamptonData Deficient
2 of 4 subregionsSimpson Strzelecki DunefieldsLeast Concern
4 of 7 subregionsStony PlainsLeast Concern
, Near Threatened
4 of 4 subregionsChannel CountryLeast Concern
Everard Block (CER03)Central RangesNear Threatened
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 Schenkia]
Name derivation:
Schenkia possible named after Joseph August Schenk (1815-1891), an Austrian-born, German botanist and paleobotanist. Australis means of or from the south; referring to the distribution of the species in the southern hemisphere
Found across South Australia, growing in damp and sandy places. Also found in all states.
Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other states.
Plant description:
Annual or rarely biennial forb to 45 cm tall. Basal leaves withering early. Stem leaves opposite each other, to 3 cm long and 2 cm wide, flat, hairless. Flowers pink to red, tubular, usually with five lobes, appearing solitary at the bases of the leaves and the tops of the stems, in open leafy spike along the stems. Flowering between November and March.
Fruit type:
Brown cylindrical capsule to 10 mm long.
Embryo type:
Spatulate under-developed.
Seed collecting:
Collect mature capsules as they dry off and turn brown. They should contain hard brown seeds inside.
Seed cleaning:
Place the capsules in a tray for a week.  Ensure you cover the tray with paper to prevent the seeds popping out. Then rub the capsules with your fingers to dislodge all 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.