Seeds of South Australia
Bulbostylis turbinata (Cyperaceae)
Top-shape Watergrass
List of species for Bulbostylis
Click on an image to enlarge it
Seed collecting:
April to June
Herbarium regions:
North Western, Lake Eyre
NRM regions:
Alinytjara Wilurara, South Australian Arid Lands
IBRA regions
Tallaringa (GVD05)Great Victoria Desert
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Oodnadatta (STP02)Stony Plains
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Murnpeowie (STP03) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(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 Bulbostylis]
Name derivation:
Bulbostylis from the Latin 'bulbus' meaning bulb and 'stylus' meaning style; alluding to the bulb-like style base. Turbinata from Latin meaning top-shaped, referring to the shape of the seed.
Few records from the north and north-east parts of South Australia growing on loam, sand and clay soils along watercourses, in depressions and rockholes. Also found in Western Australia, Northern Territory and  Queensland.
Native. Rare in South Australia. Common in the other States.
Plant description:
Very slender annual sedge to 15 cm high, with filiform sometimes scabrous stems and leaves. Leaf blades shorter than the stems; the sheaths usually bearded at the orifice but sparsely so. Inflorescence umbellate, with a few slender rays longer than the bracts, rarely reduced to a single spikelet. Flowering between February and April.
Fruit type:
Brown heads.
Seed type:
Yellow or red three-sided triangular nut to 1.1 mm long and 0.9 mm wide, with fine reticulate surface.
Seed collecting:
Collect whole heads that are brown, containing hard seeds.
Seed cleaning:
Place the heads in a tray and leave to dry for one to two weeks. Then rub the heads with a rubber bung to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate any 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 100%.
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
8800 (0.79 g)
8800 (0.79 g)
North Western
1-Aug-2007100%+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.