Seeds of South Australia
Gentianella gunniana (Gentianaceae)
Mountain gentian
List of species for Gentianella
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Seed collecting:
November to December
Herbarium region:
South Eastern
NRM region:
South East
IBRA region
Bridgewater (NCP01)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN D)   [eastern state spp., edge of range; needs more survey work]
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 Gentianella]
Name derivation:
Gentianella from the genus Gentiana (named after King Gentius, 6th century king of Illyria, who ordered the roots of the yellow gentian for medicinal used against the plague) and the diminutive suffix 'alla' meaning smaller. Gunniana named after Ronald Campbell Gunn (1808-1881), a British botanist and legislator in Launceston, Tasmania.
Currently only known from one location in South Australia in the lower South-East, growing on limestone in open areas in low heath. Also found in Victoria and Tasmania.
Native. Very rare in South Australia. Presumed extinct in Victoria. Uncommon in Tasmania.
Plant description:
Erect annual herb to 30 cm tall with a basal rosette of lance-shape leaves and paired linear leaves along the copper coloured stems. Flowers are white with purple veins on the inside appearing in spring.
Fruit type:
Brown capsules.
Seed type:
Small brown round seed to 0.8 mm diameter with a round depression on one side.
Embryo type:
Spatulate under-developed.
Seed collecting:
Collect mature capsules as they dry off and turn brown. They should contain hard brown seeds inside.
Seed cleaning:
Place the capsules in a tray for a week.  Ensure you cover the tray with paper to prevent the seeds popping out. Then rub the capsules with your fingers to dislodge all 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 95%.
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
BGA2800 (0.27 g)2010-Nov-2009DJD1752
South Eastern
Jun-201095%+5°C, -18°C
DJD13351-Jan-2012+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.
Germination table:
DateResultT0T50Pre-treatment | Germination medium | Incubator: Photoperiod / Thermoperiod
Jul-0976%19 d32 d
1% agar with 250 mg/L gibberellic acid (pH 6.5);
Incubated under winter conditions
Jul-0940%76 dNA
1% agar;
24;  /  5°C
Jul-0940%53 dNA cold stratification at 5°C 6 weeks;
1% agar;
Incubated under winter conditions
Jul-0935%53 dNA cold stratification at 5°C 6 weeks;
1% agar;
Incubated under spring/autumn conditions
Jul-0928%53 dNA cold stratification at 5°C 6 weeks;
1% agar;
12/12;  /  20°C
1% agar with 100 mg/L potassium nitrate;
Incubated under winter conditions
1% agar;
/ 6 weeks winter, 6 weeks spring/autumn.
1% agar;
24;  /  20°C
1% agar;
Incubated under spring/autumn conditions
1% agar;
Incubated under winter conditions
Result: Maximum percentage of germination observed.
T0: Number of days before first germinant observed.
T50: Number of days to achieve 50% germination.
Pre-treatment: The initial treatment that the seeds received prior to placement on germination media.
Germination medium: The substrate that seeds were placed on for the duration of the germination experiment.
Incubator conditions:
Photoperiod: The duration of light exposure that the seeds were subject to during a 24 hour period.
Thermoperiod: The constant or diurnal temperatures that seeds were subject to during a 24 hour period.
Winter conditions: 15°C 20 h (3am→11pm); 5°C 4 h (11pm→3am) / 10 h light (8am→6pm); 14 h dark (6pm→8am)
Spring/Autumn conditions: 22°C 12 h (8am→8pm); 10°C 12 h (8pm→8am) / 12 h light (8am→8pm); 12 h dark (8pm→8am)
Summer conditions: 30°C 14 h (6am→8pm); 15°C 10 h (8pm→6am) / 14 h light (6am→8pm); 10 h dark (8pm→6am)