Plants of
South Australia
Wahlenbergia tumidifructa
Campanulaceae
Balloon Bluebell
Display all 12 images
Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
Least concern
Near threatened
Rare
Vulnerable
Endangered
Critically endangered
Extinct
Data deficient
Adelaide
Arkaroola
Ceduna
Coober Pedy
Hawker
Innamincka
Marla
Marree
Mount Gambier
Oodnadatta
Renmark
Wudinna
Keith
Yunta
Enlarge Map
Copy Map
Copy Map
Display IBRA region text

Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 10.

Etymology

Wahlenbergia named by H.A Schrader in honour of Georg Göran Wahlenberg (1780-1851), a Swedish professor of botany. Tumidifructa from the Latin 'tumida' meaning swollen and 'fructus' meaning fruit.

Distribution and status

Found in the drier parts of South Australia, growing in open sites in a variety of plant communities of arid and semi-arid regions. Also found in all mainland states. Native. Common in South Australia. Rare in Victoria. Common in the other states.
Herbarium regions: North Western, Lake Eyre, Nullarbor, Gairdner-Torrens, Flinders Ranges, Eastern, Eyre Peninsula, Murray
NRM regions: Alinytjara Wilurara, Eyre Peninsula, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Perennial tufted herbs with a fleshy rootstock and stems to 90 cm long, upper parts glabrous, lower parts sparsely hairy. Leaves alternate or sometimes the lowermost opposite, to 60 mm long and 12 mm wide, obovate, becoming linear up the stem, margins flat or undulate. Flowers terminal, blue, sometimes pink or white, funnel-shaped with 5 narrow-triangular lobes which are less than twice as long as the base. Flowers throughout the year. Fruits are brown globular, cylindrical or sometimes conical capsule to 9 mm long, swollen in appearance. Seeds are tiny orange elliptic seed to 0.6 mm long and 0.3 mm wide. Seed embryo type is spatulate under-developed.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between January and December. Collect capsules that are maturing, drying and turning orange with hard 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 one collection, the seed viability was low, at 30%.

Seeds stored:
  Hide
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
BGA 
MSB
15,400 (2.31 g)
15,400 (2.31 g)
100+8-Nov-2005MKJ105
Gairdner-Torrens
28-Jul-200630%-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.