Plants of
South Australia
Schoenus sculptus
Cyperaceae
Gimlet Bog-sedge
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
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Adelaide
Arkaroola
Ceduna
Coober Pedy
Hawker
Innamincka
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Oodnadatta
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Keith
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 2.

Etymology

Schoenus which is Latin word for some grass or reed, which is from the Greek 'skhoinos'. Sculptus from the Latin 'sculptura' meaning sculpture, possibly referring to the trabeculate (sculptured) surface of the seed.

Distribution and status

Found scattered across Eyre Peninusla, Kangaroo island the South-east in South Australia, growing in seasonally wet, sandy areas. Also found in Western Australia and Victoria. Native. Rare in South Australia. Rare in Victoria. Common in Western Australia.
Herbarium regions: Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern
NRM regions: Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Small annual, grass-like herb to 10 cm high, with weakly erect, terete, striate, nodeless stems and reddish, striate or smooth, shiny leaves. Inflorescence erect, to 10 cm long, with spikelets loosely clustered at 1–5 nodes. Lowest involucral bract to 7 cm long. Spikelets narrow-ovate, acute, 2–6-flowered, glumes 4–8, lowest 1 or 2 empty, straw-coloured with red-brown patches, shining, with glabrous margins and slightly wrinkled midvein. Flowering between September and November. Fruits are brown heads at the end of stems. Seeds trigonous to obovoid, prominently 3-ribbed, each face with columns of large pits, shining, white to grey, to 1.5 mm long and 0.8 mm wide. Seed embryo type is capitate.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between November and January. Collect fruits by picking off the mature heads or whole plants that are turning brown. Place the heads/plants 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.

Fire response

Obligate re-seeder.

Longevity: 1 year

Time to flowering: 1 year

Recovery work

In 2020-2021 this species was assessed post-fire in 1 year and 2 year old fire scars. A total of 14,250 seeds have been collected & banked for 3 populations inside the 2020 fire scar. Germination screening testing the response to fire cues will be undertaken in 2021.This project was supported by the World Wildlife Fund program.

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
9,900 (1.99 g)
9,900 (1.99 g)
18-Sep-2007RJB74246
South Eastern
19-Sep-200890%+5°C, -18°C
BGA4,300 (1.1 g)5022-Oct-2007RJB74960
Southern Lofty
19-Sep-2008100%+5°C, -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.