Plants of
South Australia
Triglochin mucronata
Juncaginaceae
Prickly Arrowgrass
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Adelaide
Arkaroola
Ceduna
Coober Pedy
Hawker
Innamincka
Marla
Marree
Mount Gambier
Oodnadatta
Renmark
Wudinna
Keith
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 3.

Etymology

Triglochin from the Greek 'treis' meaning three and 'glochis' meaning a point; referring to its three-sided carpels. Mucronata from the Latin 'mucronatus' meaning mucronate, with a hard sharp-pointed tip; referring to its carpels with spreading tips.

Distribution and status

Found in the southern part of South Australia, from the Eyre Peninsula to the lower South-east, growing on damp saline soils in herbfields of salt-flats and coastal saltmarshes. Also found in Western Australia, Victoria and Tasmania. Native. Common in South Australia. Very rare in Tasmania. Rare in Victoria. Common in Western Australia.
Herbarium regions: Eyre Peninsula, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Small annual herb to 10 cm high. Leaves flat and thread-like 5 cm long, usually shorter than the inflorescence. Inflorescence an erect, ascending or spreading spike to 10 cm long, fruiting part at the top to 1.5 cm long, with 3–15 fruits. Flowering between July to September. Fruits are straw-coloured (tinged of red) inverted pyramid-shaped fruit 2.5 mm long and 2.2 mm wide (excluding spreading points), stalkless or very short stalk, with six seed segments (carpels), 3 fertile alternating with 3 undeveloped sterile ones. Seeds are straw-coloured (tinged of red) wedge-shaped seed to 2.3 mm long and 1.3 mm wide, truncate with 1 median spreading point at top end. Seed embryo type is linear.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between August and October. Collect mature fruits either by breaking off individual spikes or by removing plants that are drying off with fruits that are straw-colour and seed segments coming apart easily. Place the fruit spikes in a tray and leave to dry for 1 to 2 weeks. Then rub the dried fruit spikes with a rubber bung to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate any 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 95%.

Seeds stored:
  Hide
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
BGA 
MSB
8,000 (7.35 g)
8,000 (7.35 g)
50+1-Oct-2007RJB75128
South Eastern
19-Sep-200895%-18°C
 
MSB

4,900 (3.57 g)
100+2-Oct-2009DJD1625
Yorke Peninsula
100%
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.