Plants of
South Australia
Epacris impressa
Epacridaceae
Common Heath
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Adelaide
Arkaroola
Ceduna
Coober Pedy
Hawker
Innamincka
Marla
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Oodnadatta
Renmark
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Keith
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 13.

Etymology

Epacris from the Greek 'epi' meaning on and 'akris' meaning hilltop, referring to the habitat of several species. Impressa from the Latin 'impressa' meaning impressed or indented, alluding to the indentations on the floral tube.

Distribution and status

Found on Kangaroo Island, southern Mount Lofty Ranges and the South-east in South Australia growing in scrub and heathland, occasionally in swampy areas on sandy soils. Also found in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other States.
Herbarium regions: Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Kangaroo Island, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Erect shrub to 120 cm high with dense red hair on young branches. Leaves spreading, linear-lanceolate to ovate-lanceolate to 13 mm long and 2.9 mm wide, with a pointed tip and truncated base. Flowers white, pink or red in axils of leaves; long cylindrical. Flowering between April and August. Fruits are brown globular to flat-topped capsule to 3.5 mm long and 3.6 mm wide, with many seed per cell. Seeds are brown ovoid to ellipsoid seed to 0.75 mm long and 0.5 mm wide, with reticulate surface. Seed embryo type is linear

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between November and December. Collect mature capsules, those that are turning a pale straw colour and contain brown seeds. Monitoring of ripping capsules maybe required as capsules can split and release the seeds quickly. Place the capsules in a tray and leave to dry for one to two weeks. Then rub the capsules gently by hand to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate the unwanted material. Be very 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. This species has morphophysiological dormancy and can be difficult to germinate. In laboratory experiments germination levels increased after treatment with dry heat, smoke water and gibberellic acid.

Seeds stored:
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LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
 
MSB

7,760 (0.59 g)
307-Dec-2006DJD723
South Eastern
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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