Seeds of South Australia
Wurmbea nilpinna (Liliaceae)
Davenport Range Star-lily
List of species for Wurmbea
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Seed collecting:
September to November
Herbarium region:
Lake Eyre
NRM region:
South Australian Arid Lands
IBRA region
Peake-Dennison Inlier (STP04)Stony Plains
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D2)   [grows on red rocky soils]
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). Nilpinna named after the station property containing the Davenport Range, where the type specimen was collected from and is of Aboriginal origin.
Endemic to South Australia and found only in the Davenport Ranges, growing on rock slopes in fertile red clay.
Native. Very rare in South Australia.
Plant description:
Herb to 20 cm tall, with fleshy purplish stems to 3 mm diameter. Leaves 3, the lowest linear-lanceolate, falcate, to 15 cm long and 5 mm wide, with a leathery texture, middle leaf similar but shorter and with an inflated base, upper leaf just below the inflorescence, ovoid, bract-like, to 3 cm long. Inflorescence spike with 1- 5, white with pink edging star-like flowers, tepals narrow lanceolate, nectary a distinctive pink ‘pocket’ in the middle of each tepal, anthers ovoid, purple-red, ovary ovoid, red. Flowering between June and September, depending on rainfall.
Fruit type:
Brown papery box-like capsule to 25 mm long, containing many seeds.
Seed type:
Orange brown globular seed to 2 mm diameter, with a wrinkled surface.
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 90%.
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
BGA1040 (6.88 g)100+9-Oct-2010DJD1967
Lake Eyre
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.