Seeds of South Australia
Wurmbea dioica ssp. dioica (Liliaceae)
Early Star-lily
List of species for Wurmbea
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Seed collecting:
September to December
Herbarium regions:
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
Mount Gambier (SVP02)Southern Volcanic Plain
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [limited to red soils and volcanic rim]
Bridgewater (NCP01)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [undercollected]
Glenelg Plain (NCP02) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Lucindale (NCP03) 
 Near Threatened
Tintinara (NCP04) 
 Near Threatened
Fleurieu (KAN02)Kanmantoo
 Least Concern   [undercollected; some large pops]
Mount Lofty Ranges (FLB01)Flinders Lofty Block
 Least Concern
Broughton (FLB02) 
 Least Concern   [Now split into 2 ssp - W. ssp dioica & W. ssp brevifolia]
Olary Spur (FLB03) 
 Least Concern   [Now split into 2 ssp - W. ssp dioica & W. ssp brevifolia]
Southern Flinders (FLB04) 
 Least Concern   [Now split into 2 ssp - W. ssp dioica & W. ssp brevifolia]
Southern Yorke (EYB01)Eyre Yorke Block
 Least Concern   [Now split into 2 ssp - W. ssp dioica & W. ssp brevifolia]
St Vincent (EYB02) 
 Least Concern   [Now split into 2 ssp - W. ssp dioica & W. ssp brevifolia]
Eyre Hills (EYB03) 
 Least Concern
Talia (EYB04) 
 Least Concern
Eyre Mallee (EYB05) 
 Least Concern
Lowan Mallee (MDD04)Murray Darling Depression
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [edge of range]
Wimmera (MDD05) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))
Braemer (MDD07) 
 Least Concern   [Now split into 2 ssp - W. ssp dioica & W. ssp brevifolia]
Myall Plains (GAW01)Gawler
 Least Concern
Gawler Volcanics (GAW02) 
 Least Concern
Gawler Lakes (GAW03) 
 Least Concern
Yalata (NUL03)Nullarbor
 Least Concern
IBRA regions
Mount Gambier (SVP02)Southern Volcanic PlainRare
  (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [limited to red soils and volcanic rim]
4 of 4 subregionsNaracoorte Coastal PlainNear Threatened
, Rare
Fleurieu (KAN02)KanmantooLeast Concern
  [undercollected; some large pops]
4 of 6 subregionsFlinders Lofty BlockLeast Concern
5 of 5 subregionsEyre Yorke BlockLeast Concern
3 of 6 subregionsMurray Darling DepressionLeast Concern
, Rare
3 of 8 subregionsGawlerLeast Concern
Yalata (NUL03)NullarborLeast Concern
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). Dioica from Latin meaning two houses; referring to the species having male and female flowers on separate plants.
Found in the southern part of South Australia, growing in wide range of habitats  in the higher rainfall areas and avoiding calcareous soils. Also found in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.
Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other states.
Plant description:
Dioecious herb to 25 cm high. Leaves 3, narrow linear, well spaced, base expanded, uppermost leaf elongate, subulate or filiform at apex. Inflorescence spike with 2–7, bisexual or unisexual white flowers. Females sometimes larger, tepals elliptic, shortly fused basally, spreading, nectary band purple, anthers red to purple. This subspecies differ from the other two subspecies found in South Australia by the the uppermost leaf being lanceolate to subulate, with only the apex filiform and the flowers usually white with purple nectary bands and anthers. Flowering between July and September.
Fruit type:
Brown papery ovoid capsule with angular ribs, containing many seeds.
Seed type:
Orange 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 one collection, the seed viability was high, at 95%.
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
BGA5400 (3.36 g)50+14-Nov-2007Cox Scrub
Southern Lofty
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.