Seeds of South Australia
Wurmbea stellata (Liliaceae)
Starry Star-lily
List of species for Wurmbea
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Seed collecting:
August to October
Herbarium regions:
Lake Eyre, Gairdner-Torrens, Flinders Ranges, Eyre Peninsula
NRM regions:
Alinytjara Wilurara, Eyre Peninsula, South Australian Arid Lands
IBRA regions
Northern Flinders (FLB05)Flinders Lofty Block
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D2)
Myall Plains (GAW01)Gawler
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   (Probable Decline)   [climate change a threat]
Gawler Volcanics (GAW02) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   (Probable Decline)   [climate change a threat]
Arcoona Plateau (GAW04) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   (Probable Decline)   [climate change a threat]
Kingoonya (GAW05) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   (Probable Decline)   [climate change a threat]
Tallaringa (GVD05)Great Victoria Desert
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))
Breakaways (STP01)Stony Plains
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))
Oodnadatta (STP02) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,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). Stellata from the Latin 'stellatus' meaning with spreading rays, stellate or star-like; referring to the flat star-like flowers.
Endemic to South Australia and found scattered in the arid and semi-arid areas, growing on red clay soils in plains and rock hills.
Native. Uncommon in South Australia.
Plant description:
Slender herb to 10 cm tall with purple-tinted leaves and stems. Leaves 3 with upper 2 close together, lowest leaf filiform to linear, channelled, to 10 cm long, base purple, not dilated, apex lax or decumbent, 2nd leaf linear, to 2 cm long, dilated basally, uppermost leaf small just below the flower, dilated basally, ovate, acute. Inflorescence a single large starry white with bright purple-pink margins flower, tepals free from the base, narrow elliptic with thickened margins, nectaries 2 per tepal, pouch-like, very close to tepal margins, raised. Stamens falcate, with inflated bases adnate to the tepals, pink or white, anthers purple. Flowering between June and July.
Fruit type:
Brown papery ovoid capsule to 1 cm long containing many seeds.
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 two collection, the seed viability were high, ranging from 95% to 100%.
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
(0.6 g)20+26-Oct-2004Mt Finke
BGA690 (0.96 g)30-407-Sep-2006TEE16
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.