Seeds of South Australia
Wurmbea latifolia ssp. vanessae (Liliaceae)
Lesser Broad-leaf Star-lily
List of species for Wurmbea
Click on an image to enlarge it
Seed collecting:
September to November
Herbarium regions:
Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern
NRM regions:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, South East
IBRA regions
Bridgewater (NCP01)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D2)
Kangaroo Island (KAN01)Kanmantoo
 Near Threatened   [R Bates: NT & stable]
Fleurieu (KAN02) 
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU B2ab(i,ii,iii); D2)   (Probable Decline)   [naturally Rare; needs fertile soils; grassy woodlands; habitat loss/weeds]
Mount Lofty Ranges (FLB01)Flinders Lofty Block
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU B2ab(i,ii,iii); D2)   (Probable Decline)   [naturally Rare; needs fertile soils; grassy woodlands; habitat loss/weeds]
Broughton (FLB02) 
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN D)   (Probable Decline)
Southern Flinders (FLB04) 
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN D)   (Probable Decline)   [In Cons park]
Eyre Hills (EYB03)Eyre Yorke Block
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))
Murray Lakes and Coorong (MDD03)Murray Darling Depression
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D2)
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). Latifolia from the Latin 'latus' meaning broad or wide and 'folium' meaning a leaf; referring to the species broad leaves. Vanessae named after Vanessa, the author's wife and companion on many field trips.
Found along the coast from Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, Mount Lofty Rages and the South-east in south Australia, growing in low scrub on exposed sites. Also found in Victoria and Tasmania.
Native. Rare in South Australia. Very rare in Tasmania. Uncommon in Victoria.
Plant description:
Doecious herbs to 15 cm high. Leaves 3, lower 2 similar, close together or separated, narrowly to broadly linear, or lanceolate, to 12 cm long and 8 mm wide, margin serrated, lowest leaf basal and not dilated, middle leaf more erect and sometime dilated at the base, upper leaf smaller, dilated at the base with short erect apex. Inflorescence spike with 2–9 white or pink flowers, tepals elliptic shortly fused basally, spreading, white, nectary 1 per tepal, situated about one-third from base of tepal, white or faint violet, raised, often with a narrow central beak, anthers purple. This subspecies differ from the other subspecies found in South Australia by the relatively longer, less broad and  not opposite leaves, female flower spikes spike not dense and exserted on a scape at least 2 cm long and capsule oblong. Flowering between July and September.
Fruit type:
Brown papery oblong capsule containing many seeds.
Seed type:
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 was high, ranging from 95% to 100%.
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
BGA1000+ (2.6 g)819-Nov-2005DJD252
Southern Lofty
3500 (4.5 g)
3500 (4.5 g)
Southern Lofty
1-Aug-200795%+5°C, -18°C
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
Jul-16100%42 d56 d
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)