Plants of
South Australia
Styphelia humifusa
Native Cranberry,
Cranberry Heath
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
Least concern
Near threatened
Critically endangered
Data deficient
Coober Pedy
Mount Gambier
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 5

Prior names

Astroloma humifusum

Astroloma pallidum

Astroloma humifusum var. denticulatum

Ventenatia humifusa

Astroloma denticulatum

Common names

Native Cranberry

Cranberry Heath


Styphelia from the Greek 'styphelos' meaning hard or rough; alluding to the stiff prickly-pointed leaves. Humifusum from the Latin 'humus' meaning low- growing, alluding to its prostrate habit.

Distribution and status

Found on the Eyre and Yorke Peninsulas, Flinders and Mount Lofty Ranges, Kangaroo Island, the Murray and South-east in South Australia, growing in open forest and mallee scrub on loam or sandy soils over granite or limestone. Also found in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other states.
Herbarium regions: Flinders Ranges, Eastern, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern, Green Adelaide
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Prostrate mat-forming shrub to 40cm across. Leaves linear, narrow-elliptic or oblanceolate to 18 mm long and 3 mm wide; thin, striate-veined on lower surface; apex often recurved. Flowers solitary, or rarely 2-3, corolla tube cylindrical, bright-red, to 12 mm long, densely bearded inside except at the tip. Flowering between June and November. Fruits are dark-green to purple globular drupe. Seeds are brown, woody ellipsoid seed to 6 mm long and 4 mm wide. Seed embryo type is linear, underdeveloped.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between November and March. Collect ripe drupes, those that are fat and turning purple. Fruits may also be gathered from the ground under the foliage. Remove unwanted material from the seed collection, leaving only fruits. Place fruits in a bucket of water and leave to soak over night. Then rub the fruit to remove the flesh. Rub and change the water a few times until all the fresh are removed. Leave the cleaned seed to dry and then store 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 92%. This species has morphophysiological dormancy and is difficult to germinate

Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage

1,300 (50.5 g)
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: