Plants of
South Australia
Lomandra leucocephala ssp. robusta
Liliaceae
Woolly-head Mat-rush
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Adelaide
Arkaroola
Ceduna
Coober Pedy
Hawker
Innamincka
Marla
Marree
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Oodnadatta
Renmark
Wudinna
Keith
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 3.

Etymology

Lomandra, from the Greek 'loma' meaning edge, border or fringe and 'andros', meaning a male, alluding to the circular margin of the anthers in some species. Leucocephala,from Greek meaning white head, alluding to the colour of the flower spike. Robusta, from Latin meaning well-developed or robust.

Distribution and status

Found in the southern part of South Australia, from the Nullarbor to the upper South-east, with scattered collections from the north-west, growing on upper slopes and crests of sand dunes and under mallee. Also found in all mainland States. Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other States.
Herbarium regions: North Western, Lake Eyre, Nullarbor, Gairdner-Torrens, Eastern, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, South Eastern
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Alinytjara Wilurara, Eyre Peninsula, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Robust iron-grass to 60 cm high. Leaves to 80 cm long and 4 mm wide; flat or somewhat channeled. Leaf sheath margins short, yellowish to orange-brown, the fragments few; woolly or fibrous. Flowers, sessile in dense ovoid heads or thick cylindrical spikes to 5 cm long and 2 cm thick, enclosing the straight rigid unbranched stem; head of spikes with a white-woolly appearance. Flowering between April and August. Fruits are ovoid to globular capsule. Seeds are brown, rounded wedge-shaped seed to 6 mm long and 4 mm wide. Seed embryo type is linear, underdeveloped.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between September and November. Collect mature fruits, turning brown with a hard seed inside, or when they are starting to split. 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%. This species has morpho-physiological dormancy and can take several weeks to germinate.

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
1,590 (15.44 g)
1,590 (15.44 g)
4024-Nov-2006TST104
Murray
1-Aug-2007100%-18°C
BGA6,900 (138.75 g)1-Jan-2014D131111MU
Murray
1-Nov-2017 -18°C
BGA5,600 (113.55 g)1-Jan-2014D121211MU
Murray
1-Nov-2017 -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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