Plants of
South Australia
Wahlenbergia gracilis
Campanulaceae
Australian Bluebell
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Adelaide
Arkaroola
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Coober Pedy
Hawker
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Etymology

Wahlenbergia named by H.A Schrader in honour of Georg Göran Wahlenberg (1780-1851), a Swedish professor of botany. Gracilis from Latin meaning slender; alluding to the species habit.

Distribution and status

Found in the southern Mount Lofty Ranges and the lower South-east in South Australia, growing in shady grassy areas. Also found in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. Native. Uncommon in South Australia. Common in the other states.
Herbarium region: Southern Lofty
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Tufted perennial, few to many stems from a thickened taproot, smooth or with short hairs near base, stems erect, ascending or sprawling, to 80 cm long. Leaves alternate or opposite for a few pairs near base, obovate (usually near base) to linear (above), to 70 mm long and 10 mm wide, margins of broader leaves commonly with small callus-teeth, others usually entire. Flowers blue, sometimes pink or white, funnel-shaped with 5 narrowly triangular lobes. Flowering between September and January. Fruits are brown conical capsule to 7 mm long. Seeds are tiny brown elliptic seed to 0.6 mm long and 0.2 mm wide, with fine striated surface. Seed embryo type is spatulate under-developed.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between October and February. Collect capsules that are maturing, drying and turning brown with brown seeds inside. Place the capsules in a tray and leave to dry for a week. Then rub the capsules gently with your hands to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate the unwanted material. Be careful as the seeds are very small. 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 three collections, the seed viability were high, ranging from 90% to 100%.

Seeds stored:
  Hide
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
BGA3,200 (0.35 g)401-Dec-2006RJB70484B
Southern Lofty
1-Aug-2007100%-18°C
BGA31,000 (0.36 g)5010-Nov-2007RJB75508
Southern Lofty
19-Sep-200890%-18°C
BGA74,000 (1.88 g)20+18-Dec-2009KHB351
Southern Lofty
1-Jun-2010100%-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.