Plants of
South Australia
Baumea gunnii
Slender Twig-sedge
Display all 17 images
Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
Display IBRA region text

Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 3.


Baumea named after Antoine Baume (1728–1804), a French chemist and inventor. Gunnii named after Ronald Campbell Gunn (1808-1881), a British botanist and legislator in Launceston, Tasmania.

Distribution and status

Found on Kangaroo Island, southern Mount Lofty Ranges and the lower South-east in South Australia, growing in wet heathlands and swampy woodlands. Also found in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. Native. Rare in South Australia. Rare in Queensland and Tasmania. Uncommon in the other States.
Herbarium regions: Murray, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Kangaroo Island, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Slender tufted perennial sedge with very short rhizome. Culms to 100 cm high and 1.5 mm diameter; slender, rigid, terete; nodeless, striate; glabrous or minutely scabrous to smooth. Leaves to 1.5 mm diameter, basal; blade culm-like, as long as to slightly exceeding culm; sheath reddish or straw-coloured (but then usually with reddish tinges); Inflorescence , interrupted-oblong in outline, narrow, erect, to 60 cm long and 1.5 cm diameter; dull red-brown to grey-brown with spikelets pointing outwards. Flowers in spring and summer. Fruits are slender red-brown drooping heads. Seed embryo type is capitate.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between November and March. Collect whole heads that are brown, containing dark hard seeds. Not all heads will contain seeds. 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 available. From one collection, the seed viability was low, at 20%. 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

1,780 (5.25 g)
Southern Lofty
BGA219 (0.74 g)123-Nov-2007RJB75916
South Eastern
BGA3,400 (16.15 g)1031-Jan-2019TST1415
Southern Lofty
BGA4,300 (17.55 g)1012-Dec-2018DJD3843
South Eastern
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.