Plants of
South Australia
Spyridium thymifolium
Rhamnaceae
Thyme-leaf Spyridium
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
Least concern
Near threatened
Rare
Vulnerable
Endangered
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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

Spyridium from the Greek word spyridion, meaning a small basket, and refers to the flower heads which are circled by leafy bracts; thymifolium refers to the thyme like leaves.

Distribution and status

Mainly found on the Fleurieu Peninsula and Kangaroo Island, endemic to South Australia. Native, common on the southern part of the Fleurieu Peninsula.
Herbarium regions: Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern, Green Adelaide
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Kangaroo Island, Northern and Yorke, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Small shrub, to 50 cm high, slender branchlets white or rusty, leaves ovate to round, flat or somewhat concave above, upper surface glabrous, lower surface greyish-tomentose with prominent nerves; stipules brownish-black. Flowers September to February, compound heads, with 2 or 3 floral leaves, white-velvety above, capsule ovoid, almost glabrous. Fruits are membranous fruitlets. Seeds are smooth, ellipsoid seed approx 1 mm long, dark yellow/brown seed coat with dark green mottling. Seed embryo type is spatulate

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between November and January. Collect ripe flower heads that have yellowed or brown bracts and mottled coloured seeds that can be easily rubbed out by hand. Leave to dry for 1 -2 weeks then gently rub seeds through a sieve. Separate unwanted material. Store the seeds with desiccant such as silica beads or dry rice in an air tight container in a cool place. From 3 collections viability ranged from 50 to 100%. Seeds have physical dormancy which can be broken by nicking the seed coat or covering seeds with boiling water and allowing to cool. Germination was highest in winter conditions. Seed collection and provision of seedlings for revegetation at Deep Creek were supported by ALMR NRM in 2017.

Seeds stored:
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LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
BGA1,000 (0.51 g)50+12-Dec-2006DJD728
Kangaroo Island
1-Aug-200785%-18°C
 
MSB

1,430 (0.37 g)
50+27-Dec-2015JRG256
Southern Lofty
50%
BGA4,300 (2.17 g)50+6-Dec-2016Deep Creek
Southern Lofty
1-Nov-2017100%-18°C
BGA31,000 (19.08 g)100+30-Nov-2017DJD3697
Southern Lofty
30-Jun-2018100%-18°C
BGA2,500 (1.27 g)30+3-Nov-2017JRG612
Southern Lofty
30-Jun-2018100%-18°C
BGA5,700 (2.97 g)10014-Nov-2019Deep Creek
Southern Lofty
24-Jun-202094%-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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