Seeds of South Australia
Asperula tetraphylla (Rubiaceae)
Mountain Woodruff
List of species for Asperula
Display more images
Click on an image to enlarge it
Seed collecting:
December to January
Herbarium region:
Kangaroo Island
NRM region:
Kangaroo Island
IBRA region
Kangaroo Island (KAN01)Kanmantoo
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D2)   [endemic ]
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 Asperula]
Name derivation:
Asperula from the Latin 'asper' meaning rough, alluding to the stiff hairs on the leaves and stems. Tetraphylla from the Greek 'tetra' meaning four and 'phyllon' meaning leaf, referring to the leaves in whorls of four.
Distribution:
Endemic to South Australia and found only on the western side of Kangaroo Island, forming mats on heavy silts and clay soils on banks of the ox-bows or swales, that form off the main river channel; mostly likely be inundated during high flow.
Status:
Native. Very rare in South Australia.
Plant description:
Erect to decumbent perennial with slender stems to 10 cm long, sparingly branched and sparsely covered in short hairs. Leaves  covered in short hairs are in whorls of 4, broad-elliptic, broad-ovate or rotund to 6 mm long and 6 mm wide, tapering strongly at base; thin to slightly fleshy; margin flat, recurved or narrowly revolute. Inflorescences terminal clusters with numerous white flowers, shorter than the leaves. Flowering between August and November.
Fruit type:
Brown reniform fruit to 3 mm long, rugose.
Seed collecting:

Collect maturing fruits by picking off the clusters that are fat and turning brown or break off stems with numerous fruit clusters.

In 2016 the first seed collection for this rare, endemic woodruff was achieved on Kangaroo island with the support of the Australian Seed Bank Partnership. A total of 2,900 seeds was collected and banked as part of this project in 2016 

Seed cleaning:
Place the fruits in a tray and leave to dry for one to two weeks. Then rub the fruits 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.