Plants of
South Australia
Wurmbea uniflora
Liliaceae
Single-flower Star-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 painting: 1.

Etymology

Wurmbea name after Christoph Carl Friedrich von Wurmb (1742–1782), merchant and botanist in 18th century Batavia (Jakarta). Uniflora from the Latin 'unus' meaning one and 'floris' meaning flower.

Distribution and status

Known from one location in South Australia in the southern Mount Lofty Ranges with an old collection from the lower South-east, growing in fertile moist loam in grassy woodland. Also found in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. Native. Very rare in South Australia. Rare in New South Wales. Uncommon in Victoria. Common in Tasmania.
Herbarium regions: Southern Lofty, South Eastern, Green Adelaide
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Small herb to 14 cm tall. Leaves 3, well spaced, lowest one narrow-linear, to 10 cm long and 2 mm broad, not dilated at base, middle one shorter, filiform or narrow-linear, dilated at base, uppermost one much shorter with markedly dilated base and a short to long acuminate apex, attached well below inflorescence. Inflorescence usually single, rarely 2, tiny white hermaphrodite flower, faintly purple tinged with age. Nectaries 2 per segment, well separated, stamens greater than half length of tepals, anthers yellow. Flowering between September to January. Fruits are brown papery ovoid capsule to 1 cm long containing many seeds. Seeds are orange brown globular seed to 1.5 mm diameter. Seed embryo type is linear under-developed.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between November and January. Collect mature capsules, those turning pale straw colour and containing hard brown seeds. 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. Seed viability is high for this species.

Seeds stored:
  Hide
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
BGA 
MSB
6,200 (7.2 g)
6,200 (7.2 g)
10022-Dec-2004MKJ58
Southern Lofty
28-Mar-2006100%+5°C, -18°C
BGA1,700 (1.67 g)1-Dec-2006DJD612
Southern Lofty
1-Aug-200790%-18°C
BGA12,000 (15.68 g)100+4-Dec-2007TST260
Southern Lofty
20-Jul-2009100%+5°C, -18°C
BGA12,700 (14.9 g)100+4-Dec-2007TST248
Southern Lofty
20-Jul-2009100%+5°C, -18°C
BGA4,100 (5.38 g)1-Nov-2007T.Jury
Southern Lofty
1-Jan-2012 +5°C, -18°C
BGA12,300 (17.25 g)12-Dec-2011JRG14
Southern Lofty
2-May-2017100%+5°C, -18°C, -80°C
BGA670 (0.54 g)20-Nov-2008PJA185
Southern Lofty
2-May-201794%-18°C
BGA180 (0.26 g)20+2-Feb-2017Mt Bold
Southern Lofty
1-Nov-2017N/C-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.