Seeds of South Australia
Scleranthus diander (Caryophyllaceae)
Tufted Knawel
List of species for Scleranthus
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Seed collecting:
November to January
Herbarium region:
South Eastern
NRM region:
South East
IBRA region
Lucindale (NCP03)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D2)   [(no records) T Horn, D Duval - Deadmans Swamp]
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 Scleranthus]
Name derivation:
Scleranthus from the Greek 'skleros' meaning hard and 'anthos' meaning flower, alluding to the hardened fruiting calyx. Diandra from the Greek 'di' meaning two and 'andros' meaning male, referring to the two stamens enclosed within the calyx.
Only known from one location in South Australia in the lower South-east close to the Victorian border, growing in sandy soil. Also found in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.
Native. Very rare in South Australia. Rare in the other states.
Plant description:
Glabrous, decumbent perennial herb with woody base and stems to 10 cm long. Leaves to 7 mm long and 0.7 mm wide, thickened towards apex, keeled, margin very narrow, scarious, papillose and appearing denticulate. Inflorescence a sessile cluster of many creamy-green flowers. Flowering between October and December.
Fruit type:
Pale brown hard woody fruit to 3.5 mm long and 1.5 mm wide, with 10 nerved and 5 short outspreading sepals.
Seed type:
Brown tear-shaped seed to 1 mm long and 0.7 mm wide.
Embryo type:
Seed collecting:
Collect heads that are drying off and turning brown, these should contain small brown seeds. Be careful as plant can be prickly.
Seed cleaning:
Place the heads in a tray and leave to dry for 1 to 2 weeks. Then rub the dried heads with a rubber bung to dislodge the fruits. Use a sieve to separate any unwanted material. Seeds are enclosed in the hard fruit and can be stored as is. Store the fruit 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 were average to high, ranging from 70% to 95%.
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
BGA8000 (9.59 g)50+ 9-Dec-2009DJD1708
South Eastern
Jun-201095%+5°C, -18°C
BGA1360 (1.01 g)124-Dec-2012DJD1708
South Eastern
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
May-1343%28 dNA seeds excised from fruit;
1% agar;
Incubated under winter conditions
May-1310%21 dNA 250 mg/L gibberellic acid 48 h;
1% agar;
Incubated under winter conditions
May-130%NANA 200 mg/L potassium nitrate 48 h;
1% agar;
Incubated under winter 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)