Plants of
South Australia
Gahnia ancistrophylla
Cyperaceae
Hooked-leaf Saw Sedge
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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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Etymology

Gahnia named after Dr. Henricus Gahn, 19th century Swedish botanist and student of Linnaeus. Ancistrophylla from the Greek 'ancistron' meaning fish-hook and 'phyllon' meaning a leaf, referring to the strongly hooked leaf apex

Distribution and status

Found on southern Eyre Peninsula and southern Mount Lofty Ranges in South Australia, with an isolated collection from the mid-north, growing on calcareous and lateritic soils in heath and woodland. Also found in Western Australia and Victoria. Native. Uncommon in South Australia. Rare in Victoria. Common in Western Australia.
Herbarium regions: Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Southern Lofty
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Northern and Yorke
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Low tussock-forming perennial sedge with slender culms to 80 cm high and 1 mm diameter. Leaf-blades filiform, channelled, erect, with a hooked or curved apex; smooth, shorter than or equalling inflorescence. Sheaths dark brown to blackish, dull. Inflorescence slender, erect, to 40 cm long with spikelets not clustered. Flowering in winter and spring. Fruits are brown spike. Seeds are dark brown to black three-sided ovoid seed to 1.7 mm long and 1 mm wide, with fine tuberculate surface. Seed embryo type is capitate.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between October and January. Collect heads that are dying off, turning brown and containing hard dark seeds. Place the heads in a tray and leave to dry for one to two weeks. Then rub the heads with a rubber bung to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate any 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 one collection, the seed viability was high, at 85%.

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
1,100 (0.91 g)
1,100 (0.91 g)
126-Jan-2016DJD3308
Southern Lofty
2-May-201785%-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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