Seeds of South Australia
Centipeda cunninghamii (Compositae)
Old Man Weed
List of species for Centipeda
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Seed collecting:
March to July
Herbarium regions:
Lake Eyre, Gairdner-Torrens, Eastern, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern
NRM regions:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
IBRA regions
Mount Gambier (SVP02)Southern Volcanic Plain
 Least Concern   [can be confused with C crateriforma]
Glenelg Plain (NCP02)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Data Deficient   [can be confused with C crateriforma]
Lucindale (NCP03) 
 Data Deficient   [can be confused with C crateriforma]
Tintinara (NCP04) 
 Data Deficient   [can be confused with C crateriforma]
Kangaroo Island (KAN01)Kanmantoo
 Data Deficient   [questionable record]
Fleurieu (KAN02) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Mount Lofty Ranges (FLB01)Flinders Lofty Block
 Near Threatened   [on floodplains, reservoir areas; weedy]
Central Flinders (FLB06) 
 Least Concern   [abundant in wetter areas]
Eyre Mallee (EYB05)Eyre Yorke Block
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [many Survey records of this genus will be non-current]
South Olary Plain (MDD01)Murray Darling Depression
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [restricted to dams]
Murray Mallee (MDD02) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))
Lowan Mallee (MDD04) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [restricted habitat]
Wimmera (MDD05) 
 Data Deficient   [can be confused with C crateriforma]
Murray Scroll Belt (RIV06)Riverina
 Least Concern
Myall Plains (GAW01)Gawler
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Gawler Volcanics (GAW02) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Gawler Lakes (GAW03) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Commonwealth Hill (GAW08) 
 Least Concern
Tallaringa (GVD05)Great Victoria Desert
 Near Threatened
Dieri (SSD03)Simpson Strzelecki Dunefields
 Least Concern
Strzelecki Desert (SSD05) 
 Least Concern
Breakaways (STP01)Stony Plains
 Least Concern
Oodnadatta (STP02) 
 Least Concern
Murnpeowie (STP03) 
 Least Concern
Macumba (STP05) 
 Least Concern
Witjira (STP06) 
 Least Concern
Baltana (STP07) 
 Least Concern
Sturt Stony Desert (CHC02)Channel Country
 Least Concern
Coongie (CHC06) 
 Least Concern
Lake Pure (CHC07) 
 Least Concern
IBRA regions
Mount Gambier (SVP02)Southern Volcanic PlainLeast Concern
  [can be confused with C crateriforma]
3 of 4 subregionsNaracoorte Coastal PlainData Deficient
2 of 2 subregionsKanmantooRare
, Data Deficient
2 of 6 subregionsFlinders Lofty BlockLeast Concern
, Near Threatened
Eyre Mallee (EYB05)Eyre Yorke BlockRare
  (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [many Survey records of this genus will be non-current]
4 of 6 subregionsMurray Darling DepressionRare
, Data Deficient
Murray Scroll Belt (RIV06)RiverinaLeast Concern
4 of 8 subregionsGawlerLeast Concern
, Rare
Tallaringa (GVD05)Great Victoria DesertNear Threatened
2 of 4 subregionsSimpson Strzelecki DunefieldsLeast Concern
6 of 7 subregionsStony PlainsLeast Concern
3 of 4 subregionsChannel CountryLeast Concern
RSCA map:
Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion. Please click the thumbnail map.
AVH map:
Australian distribution map (external link)
SA Census:
Census of South Australian plants (external link)     [genus Centipeda]
Name derivation:
Centipeda from Latin for centipede, from 'centi' meaning hundred and 'ped' meaning foot, referring to the creeping stems. Cunninghamii named after Allan Cunningham (1791-1839), an English botanist and explorer, primarily known for his travels to Australia (New South Wales) and New Zealand to collect plants and author of Florae Insularum Novae Zelandiae Precursor, 1837-40 (Introduction to the flora of New Zealand).
Found in the eastern half of South Australia, growing in many communities, usually on sites subject to flooding. Also found in all States.
Native. Common in South Australia. Uncommon in the Northern Territory, Queensland and Tasmania. Common in the other States.
Plant description:
An erect or ascending, perennial herb to 20 cm high; glabrous, or cottony near growing tips; stems much-branched. Leaves oblong to more less spatulate, to 15 mm long and 4 mm wide, margins shallowly toothed or subentire, narrowed to base but petiole indistinct. Flower heads creamy-green with no petals; globular, single, at the bases of the leaves or at the ends of the stems. Flowering between January to April.
Fruit type:
Brown dense daisy head.
Seed type:
Pale brown narrow ovoid seed to 2 mm long and 0.6 mm wide, with scattered hairs on the narrower part.
Embryo type:
Seed collecting:
Collect heads that are drying off and turning brown.
Seed cleaning:
Place the heads in a tray for a week to dry. Then rub the heads gently with your hands or a rubber bung to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate the unwanted material. Be careful as the seeds are very small. 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:
From one collection, the seed viability was high, at 85%.
Seed germination:
Seeds are non-dormant, viable seed should germinate readily.
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
383000 (12.7 g)
383000 (12.7 g)
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.