Seeds of South Australia
Xanthorrhoea minor ssp. lutea (Liliaceae)
Little Grass-tree
List of species for Xanthorrhoea
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Seed collecting:
December to February
Herbarium region:
South Eastern
NRM region:
South East
IBRA regions
Mount Gambier (SVP02)Southern Volcanic Plain
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D2)   [(no records) T Horn has seen a few plants]
Glenelg Plain (NCP02)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D2)   [almost entire SA pop; T Horn: in reserve system, hard to ID]
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 Xanthorrhoea]
Name derivation:
Xanthorrhoea from the Greek 'xanthos' meaning yellow and 'rheo' meaning to flow; referring to the yellow resin that is often produced from the leaves. Minor from Latin meaning small; referring to the species smaller size compare with the other members of the genus. Lutea from the Latin 'luteum' meaning yellow; referring to the yellow colour inner tepals.
Found in the South-east in South Australia, growing in heavy clay soil. Also found in New South Wales and Victoria.
Native. Rare in South Australia. Rare in New South Wales. Common in Victoria.
Plant description:
Small shrub with stem almost totally subterranean and branched under ground. Leaves forming an erect tuft, depressed obtriangular, or often concave in cross-section, to 3.5 mm wide and 1.5 mm thick, green, not glaucous. Inflorescence with flower-bearing part to 30 cm long and 25 mm diameter with numerous flowers, with the inner tepals yellow.. Flowering between October to November.
Fruit type:
Numerous woody capsules maturing to dark brown along the spike. Capsule split into three segments, each containing one black seed.
Seed type:
Flat pyrimid-like black seed to 9 mm long and 5 mm wide.
Embryo type:
Linear under-developed.
Seed collecting:
Cut off fruit spikes that have mature capsules, usually turning dark brown or beginning to split. The seeds inside should be black.
Seed cleaning:
Place the fruit spikes in a tray or bucket and leave to dry for 3-4 weeks or until most of the capsules split. Then shake the fruit spike in a bucket to dislodge the seeds. 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 on collection, the seed viability was high, at 90%.
Seed germination:
Seeds are non-dormant, viable seed should germinate readily without any treatment.
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
1800 (14.23 g)
1700 (12.9 g)
South Eastern
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.