Plants of
South Australia
Arthropodium milleflorum
Pale Vanilla-lily
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 2.


Arthropodium from the Greek 'arthron' meaning a joint and 'podion' meaning a little foot, alluding to the jointed pedicels. Milleflorum from the Latin 'mille' meaning a thousand and 'floris' meaning flowers.

Distribution and status

Found in South Australia only in the lower South-east . Also found in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and New Caledonia. Native. Rare in South Australia. Common in other States.
Herbarium region: South Eastern
NRM region: South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Perennial lily with tubers to 3cm long. Leaves, erect to 60cm long and 17mm wide. Flowers numerous, white or purplish, spreading or drooping; perianth-segments 6-7 mm long without appendages; anther as long as the bearded part of the filament and shorter than the whole filament. Fruits are pale-brown ovoid capsule containing numerous seeds. Seeds are black, sectoroid seed to 2mm long and 2mm wide, with slightly tuberculate surface. Seed embryo type is linear fully developed.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between December and January. Collect mature capsules, those that are turning a pale straw-colour and contain black seeds. Collect individual capsules or break off the whole spike. Place the capsules in a tray and leave to dry for two weeks. Then rub the capsules gently by hand to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate the 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. From two collections, the seed viability was high, ranging from 90% to 100%.

Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
7,800 (15.61 g)
5,800 (11.61 g)
South Eastern
20-Jul-2009100%+5°C, -18°C
BGA1,370 (2.74 g)4-Jan-2012Bryan Haywood
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.