Plants of
South Australia
Orthrosanthus multiflorus
Iridaceae
Morning Flag
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
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Vulnerable
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Adelaide
Arkaroola
Ceduna
Coober Pedy
Hawker
Innamincka
Marla
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Oodnadatta
Renmark
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Keith
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock painting: 1.

Etymology

Orthrosanthus from the Greek 'orthros' meaning morning and 'anthos' meaning flower; referring to the short-lived flowers which open before noon. Multiflorus from the Latin 'multus' meaning many and 'floris' meaning flower.

Distribution and status

Found on the bottom of the Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island and the southern Mount Lofty Ranges in South Australia, growing in heath and stunted mallee on coastal dunes and limestone. Also found in Western Australia and Victoria. Native. Uncommon in South Australia. Uncommon in Western Australia. Rare in Victoria.
Herbarium regions: Eyre Peninsula, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Perennial sedge-like tuft to 60 cm high. Leaves to 50 cm long and 5 mm wide, glabrous, finely striate, with dry brown overlapping margins at the base. Inflorescence a long spike with scattered clusters of 3-7 large sky-blue flowers. Flowering between August and November. Fruits are brown capsule to 20 mm long scattered along the the top of stems. Seeds are orange to brown ovoid seed to 1.2 mm long and 1 mm wide, with a wrinkled surface. Seed embryo type is linear under-developed.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between November and January. Collect mature capsules, those that are drying off and turning pale brown with hard brown seeds inside. Place the capsules in a tray and leave to dry for one to two weeks. Then rub the capsules gently by hand to dislodge 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. From one collection, the seed viability was high, at 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
6,500 (5.24 g)
6,500 (5.24 g)
100+11-Dec-2006DJD656
Kangaroo Island
1-Aug-2007100%-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.