Plants of
South Australia
Bulbine alata
Liliaceae
Native Leek Lily
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
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Near threatened
Rare
Vulnerable
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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 painting: 1.

Etymology

Bulbine from the Greek 'bolbos' and Latin 'bulbu' for a bulb. Alata from the Latin 'alatus ' meaning winged, referring to the winged seeds.

Distribution and status

Found across the northern part of South Australia, growing on open floodplains and sandplains, exposed stony hillsides, claypans and sandy creek beds. Also found in Western Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland & New South Wales. Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other States.
Herbarium regions: North Western, Lake Eyre, Gairdner-Torrens, Flinders Ranges, Eastern, Eyre Peninsula
NRM regions: Alinytjara Wilurara, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Arid Lands
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Erect annual herb to 20 cm tall with round fleshy basal leaves. Inflorescence erect long spike with yellow flower; perianth filaments all beardless. Flowering between August to October. Distinguished from the other Bulbine species by not having a tuber, having a wing around the seeds and beardless perianth filaments. Fruits are round capsules less than 1cm long containing numerous seeds. Seeds are brown-black pyramid-shaped seeds to 5mm long with a wing all around. Seed embryo type is linear fully developed.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between August and December. Collect mature capsules, those turning pale straw colour and containing brown-black seeds. Can collect individual capsules or break off the whole fruit spike. Place the capsules in a tray and leave to dry for 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
3,300 (5.52 g)
3,300 (5.52 g)
50+28-Aug-2008TST437
Lake Eyre
20-Jul-2009100%-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.
Germination table:
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