Plants of
South Australia
Styphelia rufa
Epacridaceae
Ruddy Beard-heath
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Adelaide
Arkaroola
Ceduna
Coober Pedy
Hawker
Innamincka
Marla
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Oodnadatta
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Keith
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 2.

Etymology

Leucopogon, from the Greek 'leukoni,' meaning white and 'pogon', meaning beard, alluding to the white-bearded corolla lobes. Rufus, from Latin meaning red, tawny, possible referring to the reddish fruit.

Distribution and status

Found on the Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, southern Mount Lofty Ranges and the upper South-east in South Australia growing in open forest, mallee scrub and heathlands, on sand over granite and limestone. Also found in New South Wales and Victoria. Native. Common in South Australia. Uncommon in New South Wales. Common in Victoria.
Herbarium regions: Eyre Peninsula, Murray, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Erect shrub 60 cm high, with glabrous to finely hairy stems. Leaves erect to spreading; ovate, to 12 mm long and 5 mm wide, concave to rarely flat, paler below; glabrous to pubescent; margins entire to minutely toothed; apex with a stiff mucro. Inflorescence in axillary spike to 6 mm long, with 2-5 white tubular, densely bearded flowers, soon reddening on drying. Flowering between November and March. Fruits are reddish-green ovoid fruit to 6 mm lon, with paler ring-like rim at apex. Seeds are soft, white longitudinal seed, within the woody endocarp. Seed embryo type is linear, underdeveloped.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between March and June. Collect fruits by hand when ripe. Check to see if locules are filled with seed. Place the berries in a bucket of water and leave to soak overnight. Rub the flesh off by hand. Drain and wash again if required to remove all the fleshy parts. Then spread the wet seeds onto paper towels and leave to dry. 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. Seeds have morpho-physiological dormancy and will not germinate readily without treatment. Germination is enhanced by treating with fire cues, heat and 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
BGA 
MSB
1,000 (54.1 g)
1,000 (54.1 g)
5021-Dec-2004MKJ55
Southern Lofty
1-Aug-200690%-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.