Seeds of South Australia
Melaleuca quadrifaria (Myrtaceae)
Limestone Honey-myrtle
List of species for Melaleuca
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Seed collecting:
January to December
Herbarium region:
Nullarbor
NRM region:
Alinytjara Wilurara
IBRA region
Hampton (HAM01)Hampton
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [WA spp, edge of range]
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 Melaleuca]
Name derivation:
Melaleuca from the Greek 'melas' meaning black and 'leucon' meaning white; alluding to the contrasting colours of the bark of the first species described, which is said to have had white branches against a black trunk. Quadriferia from the Latin 'quadri' meaning four and 'fidus' meaning split; referring to the leaves in four rows.
Distribution:
Found only in a small area around Border Village in South Australia close to the Western Australian border, growing on clay loam or sandy clay over limestone. Also found in Western Australia.
Status:
Native. Rare in South Australia. Common in Western Australia.
Plant description:
Large rounded perennial shrub to 6 m tall and 4 m wide with small lance-shaped leaves in four rows along the stems. Flowers are white or cream in clusters along the stems, appearing in summer.
Fruit type:
Round woody capsules remaining on the plant.
Seed type:
Tiny brown oblong seeds to 1.2 mm long and 0.5 mm wide.
Embryo type:
Folded.
Seed collecting:
Collect capsules that are large and hard with closed valves.
Seed cleaning:
Place the capsules in a tray and leave to dry for at least two weeks or until all the valves are open. Then place all the capsules into a bucket with a lid if possible and shake hard to dislodge the seeds from the capsules. Use a sieve to separate the seeds from the capsules. The fine material will contain the seeds and other flowering material. It is very difficult to separate the seeds from this other material as the size, shape and weight are very similar. However the seeds will be a darker brown. 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 85%.
Seed germination:
Seeds are non-dormant, viable seed should germinate readily.
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
BGA8400 (21.82 g)154-Nov-2009TST867
Nullarbor
Jun-201085%-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.