Plants of
South Australia
Leptomeria preissiana
Santalaceae
Preiss Currant-bush
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock painting: 1.

Etymology

Leptomeria from the Greek 'leptos' meaning slender and 'meros' meaning a part; alluding to the slender branchlets. Preissiana named after Johann August Ludwig Preiss (1811-1883), a German naturalist and plant collector in Western Australia.

Distribution and status

Found in the northern Eyre Peninusla and the Grawler Ranges in South Australia, growing in granite cravices. Also found in Western Australia. Native. Very rare in South Australia. Common in Western Australia.
Herbarium region: Eyre Peninsula
NRM region: Eyre Peninsula
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Hemiparasitic, virgate shrub to 1 m high with rigid branches, often not spine-tipped, terete, shallowly but regularly longitudinally ridged, yellow-green, leaves only persisting briefly. Flowers in spike-like racemes dense at first, to 15 mm long, bracts enclosing each flower at first and often persisting during flowering, ovate-lanceolate, toothed especially towards the summit, perianth white, to 0.5 mm long, ovary to 1 mm long. Flowering between August and November. Fruits are yellow-green to purple, dry globular drupe. Seeds are globular woody seed to 4 mm long and 3 mm wide. Seed embryo type is linear under-developed.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between November and December. Collect mature fruits, those that are fat and turning yellowish. Place the fruit in a tray and leave to dry for one to two weeks. No further cleaning is required if only the fruits were collected. 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. This species is generally difficult to germinate, it has morphophysiological dormancy and complex germination requirements.