Plants of
South Australia
Goodenia vilmoriniae
Purple Hand-flower
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
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Critically endangered
Data deficient
Coober Pedy
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Common names

Purple Hand-flower


Goodenia named after Samuel Goodenough (1743-1827), an Bishop of Carlisle, an amateur botanist and collector and vice-president of the Royal Society. Vilmoriniae named by Mueller after Lady Vilmorin (Speciem ornavi nomine Dominae Vilmorin, Lutetiane, horticulturae nec non literarum phytologicarum fautricis praedignae)

Distribution and status

Found in the far north-western corner of South Australia, growing on rocky or gravelly ranges, hills or rises, sandplains, and along intermittent watercourses on red sand. Also found in Western Australia, Northern Territory and Queensland. Native. Rare in South Australia. Common in the other states.
Herbarium region: North Western
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Rosette-forming annual or short-lived perennial herb, covered in sparse to dense hairs and with spreading or erect flowering stems to 40 cm high. Leaves basal and alternate up the stems, sessile, linear-oblong to elliptic, lanceolate or oblanceolate, to 125 mm long and 23 mm wide, entire or with toothed margins. Inflorescence in a terminal raceme or umbellate group, bracts linear and leaf-like, bracteoles absent. Flowers pale-blue to lilac with a yellow throat. Corolla with marginal wings. Flowering possibly throughout the year depending on rainfalls. Fruits are hairy compressed globular capsule to 11 mm long and 9 mm wide. Seeds are flat, dark brown ovoid seed to 4.5 mm long and 3 mm wide with a pale prominent wing. Seed embryo type is spatulate.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between March and October. Collect capsules that are maturing, turning brown, easily split open and with pale brown seeds inside. Place the capsules in a tray and leave to dry for a week. Then rub the capsules with your hands to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate the unwanted material. Be careful as the seeds are very fine. 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.