Seeds of South Australia
Xanthorrhoea semiplana ssp. tateana (Liliaceae)
Tate's Grass-tree
List of species for Xanthorrhoea
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Seed collecting:
January to April
Herbarium regions:
Eyre Peninsula, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island
NRM regions:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, Northern and Yorke
IBRA regions
Kangaroo Island (KAN01)Kanmantoo
 Least Concern
Fleurieu (KAN02) 
 Near Threatened   (Probable Decline)   [PC susceptible, burnt, knocked over]
Mount Lofty Ranges (FLB01)Flinders Lofty Block
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D1+2)   [PC susceptible; < 100 plants]
Southern Yorke (EYB01)Eyre Yorke Block
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU B2ab(i,ii,iii); D1+2)   (Definite Decline)   [no records]
Eyre Hills (EYB03) 
 Near Threatened   (Probable Decline)
Talia (EYB04) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   (Probable Decline)
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. Semiplana from the Latin 'semi' meaning half and the Greek 'planatus' meaning flat; referring to the leaves which can be flatted on one side. Tateana named after Ralph Tate (1840-1901), a geologist and the first Professor of Natural History at the University of Adelaide.
Endemic to South Australia and found on the southern Eyre Peninsula, York Peninsula, Kangaroo Island and the southern Mount Lofty Ranges; growing on sandy soil.
Native. Uncommon in South Australia.
Plant description:
Trunk usually more than 1 m tall with 1 to many crowns. Leaves transversely narrow-rhombic to very depressed-cuneate in section, to 12 mm wide and 3.5 mm thick, bluish-green, very glaucous. Inflorescence 180-360 cm long; scape 40-125 cm long, 25-60 mm diameter, spike 140-300 cm long, 25-90 mm diameter with numerous creamy flowers. Flowering between October and November. This subspecies defer from the other subspecies found in South Australia, Xanthorrhoea semiplana ssp. semiplana, which is trunkless and has a shorter and narrower flower spike (inflorescence 200-375 cm long, scape 75-200 cm long, 15-30 mm diameter, spike 65-250 cm long, 25-45 mm diameter.
Fruit type:
Numerous woody capsules maturing to dark brown along the spike. Capsule split into three segments, each containing one black seed.
Embryo type:
Linear under-developed.
Seed collecting:
Cut off fruit spikes that have mature capsules, usually turning dark brown or begining 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 germination:
Seeds are non-dormant, viable seed should germinate readily without any treatment.