Plants of
South Australia
Acrotriche depressa
Epacridaceae
Wiry Ground-berry
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 3.

Etymology

Acrotriche from the Greek 'akron' meaning summit and 'thrix' meaning hair, alluding to the tuft of hairs at the tip of the corolla lobes. Depressa from Latin meaning to press down, referring to the habit being pressed flat, low to the ground.

Distribution and status

Found on Kangaroo Island, southern Mount Lofty Ranges,Murrayland and the South-east in South Australia, growing in sclerophyll forest, mallee scrub and heath on limestone and sandy ironstone. Restricted to South Australia with a small population in Victoria. Native. Uncommon in South Australia. Very rare in Victoria.
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

Low growing, erect shrub with rigid branches to 80 cm high and 60 cm across. Young branches red-brown with older stems grey. Leaves thick, triangular to ovate-lanceolate to 5 mm long and 3 mm wide. Flowers pale-green along spikes to 30 mm long. Flowering between September and December. Fruits are fleshy, ovoid, dark-purple fruit to 10 mm long and 7 mm wide. Seeds are woody brown ovoid seed to 6 mm long and 3 mm wide. Seed embryo type is linear underdeveloped.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between October and February. Lift branches carefully to locate the fruits at the base of the plant. Collect berries that are dark-purple and soft with a hard seed inside. Place the berries in a bucket of water and rub the flesh off with your hands. Drain the water and wash again if required to remove all the flesh. Then spread the wet seeds on some paper towel and leave to dry. 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. From one collection, the seed viability was average, at 65%. This species is generally difficult to germinate, it has morphophysiological dormancy and complex germination requirements.

Seeds stored:
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LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
BGA 
MSB
2,150 (28 g)
2,150 (28 g)
30-4027-Oct-2005MKJ91
Southern Lofty
1-Aug-200665%-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.