Seeds of South Australia
Wurmbea decumbens (Liliaceae)
Trailing Star-lily
List of species for Wurmbea
Display more images
Click on an image to enlarge it
Seed collecting:
August to September
Herbarium regions:
Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island
NRM regions:
Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island
IBRA regions
Kangaroo Island (KAN01)Kanmantoo
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D2)   [2 records, Kingscote pop not seen since 2006]
Eyre Hills (EYB03)Eyre Yorke Block
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Talia (EYB04) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Eyre Mallee (EYB05) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Myall Plains (GAW01)Gawler
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Gawler Volcanics (GAW02) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
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 Wurmbea]
Name derivation:
Wurmbea name after Friedrick Wilhelm von Wurmb, merchant and botanist in 18th century Batavia (Jakarta). Decumbens from Latin meaning prostrate on the earth with the tips turning up; referring to the decumbent leaves and flower spike.
Endemic to South Australia and found on the Eyre Peninsula and Kangaroo Island, growing on rocky hills on sheltered southern slopes at the base of rocks.
Native. Rare in South Australia.
Plant description:
Decumbent herb to 8 cm high. Leaves 3,, lower two basal, decumbent, narrow, pale green, to 20 cm long and 5 mm wide, not dilated at the base, upper leaf ovate, short. Inflorescence short spike, shorter than the leaves, at first erect but becoming decumbent soon after, with one rarely 2 small white flower, turning purple with age. Flowering May to July.
Fruit type:
Large brown elongated capsule to 2 cm long with many seeds.
Seed type:
Orange brown globular seed to 1.5 mm diameter.
Embryo type:
Linear under-developed.
Seed collecting:
Collect mature capsules, those turning pale straw colour and containing hard brown seeds.
Seed cleaning:
Place the capsules in a tray and leave to dry for two weeks. Then rub the capsules gently 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 three collections, the seed viability were high, ranging from 95% to 100%.
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
4500 (9.74 g)
4600 (10 g)
Eyre Peninsula
1-Aug-200795%+5°C, -18°C
BGA1900 (3.5 g)100+30-Aug-2007MJT71
Eyre Peninsula
20-Jul-2009100%+5°C, -18°C
BGA1900 (3.5 g)50+30-Aug-2007MJT71
Eyre Peninsula
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.