Plants of
South Australia
Xanthorrhoea quadrangulata
Liliaceae
Mount Lofty Grass-tree
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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
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Oodnadatta
Renmark
Wudinna
Keith
Yunta
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 3.

Etymology

Xanthorrhoea from the Greek 'xanthos' meaning yellow and 'rheo' meaning to flow; referring to the yellow resin that is often produced from the leaves. Quadrangulata from the Latin 'quadra' meaning four and 'angulatus' meaning cornered; referring to the leaves square cross section.

Distribution and status

Endemic to South Australia and found growing on rocky ridges across the Mount Lofty and Flinders Ranges. Native. Common in South Australia..
Herbarium regions: Lake Eyre, Flinders Ranges, Eastern, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Southern Lofty
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Arid Lands
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

An erect perennial plant with long narrow linear squared leaves arising from a central point and hanging down like a skirt. Older plants have a trunk up to 2 m tall. Flowers are creamy white on a long cylindrical spike. Flowering between March and August. Fruits are numerous woody capsules maturing to dark brown along the spike. Capsule split into three segments, each containing one black seed. Seeds are flat pyramid-like black seed to 10 mm long and 5 mm wide. Seed embryo type is linear under-developed.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between September and January. Cut off fruit spikes that have mature capsules, usually turning dark brown or beginning to split. The seeds inside should be black. Place the fruit spikes in a tray or bucket and leave to dry for 3-4 weeks or until most of the capsules split. Then shake the fruit spike in a bucket to dislodge the seeds. 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 on collection, the seed viability was high, at 100%. Seeds are non-dormant, viable seed should germinate readily without any treatment.

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
11,000 (260.73 g)
11,000 (260.73 g)
2510-Dec-2005KHB13
Southern Lofty
9-Aug-2006100%-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.