Plants of
South Australia
Hypericum gramineum
Guttiferae
Small St John's Wort
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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: 3.

Etymology

Hypericum, from the Greek 'hyper', meaning above and 'icon' meaning image, referring to plants from the genus being hung above religious figures to ward off evil spirits. Gramineum, from the Latin 'gramen', meaning grass, referring to the grass-like stems.

Distribution and status

Found mainly in the southern part of South Australia, with scattered records across the northern part; growing in sandy soils along rivers, creeks and flood-plain. Also found in all States. Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other States.
Herbarium regions: North Western, Lake Eyre, Flinders Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, 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

Erect perennial herb to 40 cm high; often rhizomatous and shortly creeping at base; stems with 4-ridges; internodes usually longer than leaves. Leaves ovate to narrowly elliptic or oblong, to 20 mm long and 7 mm wide, often glaucous; at least the upper most, erect and stem-clasping; margins usually recurved. Flowers in leafy clusters with orange-yellow, not black-dotted petals. Flowering between October to March. Fruits are brown ovoid capsule to 8 mm long. Seeds are brown oblong seed to 0.6 mm long and 0.3 mm wide, surface tuberculous.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between June and January. Collect maturing capsules, those turning pale-brown with brown seeds inside. Place the capsules in a tray and leave to dry for a week. Then rub the dried capsules gently by hand to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate the unwanted material. Be 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. From three collections, the seed viability was high, ranging from 80% to 100%.

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
4,000 (0.26 g)
4,000 (0.26 g)
4031-Jan-2006HPV2962
South Eastern
1-Aug-2006100%-18°C
BGA119,800 (2.78 g)203-Jan-2007RJB70979D
Murray
1-Aug-200785%-18°C
BGA13,000 (0.55 g)5013-Dec-2007RJB76275
Flinders Ranges
19-Sep-200880%-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.