Plants of
South Australia
Scleranthus diander
Caryophyllaceae
Tufted Knawel
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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
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock painting: 1.

Etymology

Scleranthus from the Greek 'skleros' meaning hard and 'anthos' meaning flower, alluding to the hardened fruiting calyx. Diandra from the Greek 'di' meaning two and 'andros' meaning male, referring to the two stamens enclosed within the calyx.

Distribution and status

Only known from one location in South Australia in the lower South-east close to the Victorian border, growing in sandy soil. Also found in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. Native. Very rare in South Australia. Rare in the other states.
Herbarium region: South Eastern
NRM region: South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Glabrous, decumbent perennial herb with woody base and stems to 10 cm long. Leaves to 7 mm long and 0.7 mm wide, thickened towards apex, keeled, margin very narrow, scarious, papillose and appearing denticulate. Inflorescence a sessile cluster of many creamy-green flowers. Flowering between October and December. Fruits are pale brown hard woody fruit to 3.5 mm long and 1.5 mm wide, with 10 nerved and 5 short outspreading sepals. Seeds are brown tear-shaped seed to 1 mm long and 0.7 mm wide. Seed embryo type is peripheral.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between November and January. Collect heads that are drying off and turning brown, these should contain small brown seeds. Be careful as plant can be prickly. Place the heads in a tray and leave to dry for 1 to 2 weeks. Then rub the dried heads with a rubber bung to dislodge the fruits. Use a sieve to separate any unwanted material. Seeds are enclosed in the hard fruit and can be stored as is. Store the fruit 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 were average to high, ranging from 70% to 95%.

Seeds stored:
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LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
BGA8,000 (9.59 g)50+ 9-Dec-2009DJD1708
South Eastern
1-Jun-201095%+5°C, -18°C
BGA1,360 (1.01 g)124-Dec-2012DJD1708
South Eastern
27-Feb-201470%-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.
Germination table:
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