Seeds of South Australia
Xyris operculata (Xyridaceae)
Tall Yellow-eye
List of species for Xyris
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Seed collecting:
January to April
Herbarium regions:
Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern
NRM regions:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Kangaroo Island, South East
IBRA regions
Mount Gambier (SVP02)Southern Volcanic Plain
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D2)
Glenelg Plain (NCP02)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D2)
Kangaroo Island (KAN01)Kanmantoo
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   (Probable Decline)   [persists in swamps, paddocks; long-lived, small pops]
Fleurieu (KAN02) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   (Probable Decline)   [persists in swamps, paddocks; long-lived, small pops]
Mount Lofty Ranges (FLB01)Flinders Lofty Block
 Data Deficient   [1 old record Kangarilla]
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 Xyris]
Name derivation:
Xyris from Greek meaning razor and a name used by Dioscorides for Iris foetidissima; alluding to the similarity of this genus to the Iris. Operculata from the Latin 'operculum' meaning a lid; alluding to the lid by which partial fruits dehisce.
Found on Kangaroo Island, southern Mount Lofty Ranges and the lower South-east in South Australia, growing in wet heath-lands and swampy areas. Also found in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.
Native. Rare in South Australia. Uncommon in Queensland. Common in the other states.
Plant description:
Perennial sedge-like plant with slender scapes to 50 cm high. Leaves linear, with shining brown sheaths. Flower-head terminal, singular, ovoid or globular, to 12 mm long with almost black broad bracts and large yellow flowers. Flowering between November and January.
Fruit type:
Hard, dark brown capsule, opening by distal slits.
Seed collecting:
Collect heads that are maturing, turning dark brown, hard and contain dark seeds.
Seed cleaning:
Place the capsules in a tray and leave to dry for two weeks. Then rub the capsules by hand or with a rubber bung 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, at 100%.
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
BGA10800 (0.94 g)50+5-Apr-2005DJD130
Southern Lofty
12097+12097 (1.05+1.05 g)
23900 (2.07 g)
>5020-Jan-2005MKJ 70
South Eastern
28-Mar-2006100%+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.