Plants of
South Australia
Dianella brevicaulis
Liliaceae
Coast Flax-lily
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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: 5.

Etymology

Dianella is a diminutive of Diana, the virginal Roman goddess of hunting and the moon. The original species named was found located in the French woods, thus the hunting association. Brevicaulis from the Latin 'brevis' meaning short and 'caulis' meaning a stem, referring to the flower-spike being shorter than the foliage only 3/4 the length.

Distribution and status

Found along the coast of South Australia, from Fowlers Bay to the lower South-east growing on sandy soil mainly near the coast, sometimes on exposed dunes, with inland occurrences in mallee-heath. Also found in Western Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. Native. Common in South Australia. Rare in New South Wales. Common in the other States.
Herbarium regions: Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern, Green Adelaide
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, 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

Closely tufted perennial grass-lily to 50 cm tall.  Leaves mostly erect, closely sheathing at base, to 65 cm long and 10 mm wide, margins recurved (drying to revolute), smooth, blade pale to dark green. Flower-spikes with spreading branches much shorter than the foliage, with 2-9 mid to dark blue or violet flowers. Stamens yellow and anthers pale brown to almost black. Flowering between October and December. Fruits are round blue berries containing numerous seeds. Seeds are shiny black ovoid to 4 mm long and 2 mm wide. Seed embryo type is linear fully developed.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between November and February. Pick the fruits that are soft and purple. These will have hard black seeds inside. It is best to clean the fruit when it is fresh. Place fruits in a bucket of water and rub the fruit gently by hand to dislodge the seeds. Then use a sieve to separate 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. Seed viability is usually high. Seeds are non-dormant, viable seed should germinate readily.

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
1,900 (9.88 g)
1,900 (9.88 g)
4015-Nov-2005MKJ138
Southern Lofty
9-Aug-200690%-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.