Plants of
South Australia
Baumea articulata
Jointed Twig-sedge
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 2.


Baumea named after Antoine Baume (1728–1804), a French chemist and inventor. Articulata meaning to have joints (septate).

Distribution and status

Found in standing water of lagoons, deeper swamps and streams, mainly in the Mount Lofty Ranges and the lower South-east in South Australia, with isolated occurrence in the Flinders Ranges. Also found in Western Australia, Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. Native. Common in South Australia. Common in other States.
Herbarium regions: Flinders Ranges, Murray, Southern Lofty, South Eastern
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Perennial sedge with cylindrical stems to 2m high; hollow distinct transverse partitions (septa). Leaves basal, long, like the stems but with the transverse partitions very prominent; the tips tapering and rather pungent;;lowest bract similar but short. Flower in loose panicle to 40cm long, drooping with numerous brown spikelets. Fruits are large brown drooping heads. Seeds are brown ovoid nut to 3mm long and 2mm wide with 3 vertical ridges arising from the base. Seed embryo type is capitate.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between February and May. Collect whole heads that are brown, containing dark hard seeds. Not all heads will contain seeds. Place the spike in a tray and leave to dry for one to two weeks. Then rub the spikes 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 available. From two collections, the seed viability was high, ranging from 90% to 95%. This species is generally difficult to germinate, it has morphophysiological dormancy and complex germination requirements.

Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
11,500 (17.1 g)
11,500 (17.1 g)
Southern Lofty
BGA20,000 (30.93 g)28-Feb-2007RJB71586
Southern Lofty
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.