Seeds of South Australia
Baloskion tetraphyllum ssp. tetraphyllum (Restionaceae)
Feather Plant
List of species for Baloskion
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Seed collecting:
January to February
Herbarium region:
South Eastern
NRM region:
South East
IBRA regions
Mount Gambier (SVP02)Southern Volcanic Plain
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D2)   [blackberries a threat]
Glenelg Plain (NCP02)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))
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 Baloskion]
Name derivation:
Tetraphyllum from the Greek 'tetra' meaning four and 'phyllon' meaning leaf; referring to the female perianth-segments.
Very limited occurrences in the lower South-east of South Australia, between Millicent and Mount Gambier, usually in swamping areas. Also found in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.
Native. Very rare in South Australia. Rare in New South Wales. Common in other states.
Plant description:
Dioecious perennial herb with stiff, slender and cylindrical stems, with sheathing bracts appressed, becoming brown, middle bracts producing filiform much-divided barren branches to 15cm long, the barren branchlets with minute distant leaves or scales. Spikelets several-flowered, ovoid to nearly globular, to 10mm long. Male perianth-segments 6, unequal. Female perianth-segments 4, the 2 outer ones lanceolate and folded. 
Fruit type:
Long red brown heads containing numerous papery, horse-shoe crab shape fruit. 
Seed type:
Tiny, yellow orange, elliptical seed less than 1mm long.
Embryo type:
Seed collecting:
Collection mature heads, those turning brown. Either cut the whole heads or strip the fruit from the heads with your hands.
Seed cleaning:
Place the heads in a tray and leave to dry for one to two weeks. Then rub the heads gently with a rubber bung to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate the unwanted material. Be very careful as the seeds are very small. 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%.
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
129167+125880 (27.9+27.19 g)
250000 (54.3 g)
>6020-Jan-2005MKJ 69
South Eastern
28-Mar-200685%+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.