Plants of
South Australia
Schenkia australis
Gentianaceae
Spike Centaury
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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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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 2.

Etymology

Schenkia possible named after Joseph August Schenk (1815-1891), an Austrian-born, German botanist and paleobotanist. Australis means of or from the south, referring to the distribution of the species in the Southern hemisphere

Distribution and status

Found across South Australia, growing in damp and sandy places. Also found in all States. Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other States.
Herbarium regions: North Western, Lake Eyre, Nullarbor, Gairdner-Torrens, Flinders Ranges, Eastern, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Alinytjara Wilurara, 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

Annual or rarely biennial forb to 45 cm tall. Basal leaves withering early. Stem leaves opposite each other, to 3 cm long and 2 cm wide. Flowering between November and March. Fruits are brown cylindrical capsule to 10 mm long. Seed embryo type is spatulate under-developed.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between January and May. Collect mature capsules as they dry off and turn brown. They should contain hard brown seeds. Place the capsules in a tray for a week. Ensure you cover the tray with paper to prevent the seeds popping out. Then rub the capsules with your fingers to dislodge all the seeds. Use a sieve to separate the 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.

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

90,000 (1.14 g)
5-Jan-2008RJB77092
Northern Lofty
95%
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.