Seeds of South Australia
Cullen cinereum (Leguminosae)
Hoary Scurf-pea
List of species for Cullen
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Seed collecting:
January to December
Herbarium regions:
North Western, Lake Eyre, Nullarbor, Gairdner-Torrens, Flinders Ranges, Eastern, Murray
NRM regions:
Alinytjara Wilurara, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin
IBRA regions
Olary Spur (FLB03)Flinders Lofty Block
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i))   [southern edge of its range]
Northern Flinders (FLB05) 
 Least Concern   [ephemeral, opportunistic, flood spp.]
Central Flinders (FLB06) 
 Data Deficient   [questionable ID]
Murray Scroll Belt (RIV06)Riverina
 Rare   (IUCN: RA b)   (Probable Decline)   [annual; arid spp; comes in on flood events]
Arcoona Plateau (GAW04)Gawler
 Least Concern   [needs rain]
Roxby (GAW07) 
 Least Concern   [ephemeral, opportunistic, flood spp.]
Tallaringa (GVD05)Great Victoria Desert
 Least Concern   [ephemeral, opportunistic, flood spp.]
Nullarbor Plain (NUL02)Nullarbor
 Least Concern   [needs rain]
Barrier Range Outwash (BHC04)Broken Hill Complex
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i))
Curnamona (BHC06) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i))
Simpson Desert (SSD02)Simpson Strzelecki Dunefields
 Near Threatened   [ephemeral, opportunistic, flood spp.]
Dieri (SSD03) 
 Near Threatened   [ephemeral, opportunistic, flood spp.]
Strzelecki Desert (SSD05) 
 Least Concern   [ephemeral, opportunistic, flood spp.]
Breakaways (STP01)Stony Plains
 Least Concern   [ephemeral, opportunistic, flood spp.]
Oodnadatta (STP02) 
 Least Concern   [ephemeral, opportunistic, flood spp.]
Murnpeowie (STP03) 
 Least Concern   [ephemeral, opportunistic, flood spp.]
Macumba (STP05) 
 Least Concern   [ephemeral, opportunistic, flood spp.]
Witjira (STP06) 
 Least Concern   [ephemeral, opportunistic, flood spp.]
Baltana (STP07) 
 Least Concern   [ephemeral, opportunistic, flood spp.]
Sturt Stony Desert (CHC02)Channel Country
 Least Concern   [ephemeral, opportunistic, flood spp.]
Diamantina-Eyre (CHC04) 
 Least Concern   [ephemeral, opportunistic, flood spp.]
Coongie (CHC06) 
 Least Concern   [ephemeral, opportunistic, flood spp.]
Lake Pure (CHC07) 
 Least Concern   [ephemeral, opportunistic, flood spp.]
IBRA regions
3 of 6 subregionsFlinders Lofty BlockLeast Concern
, Rare
, Data Deficient
Murray Scroll Belt (RIV06)RiverinaRare
  (IUCN: RA b)   (Probable Decline)   [annual; arid spp; comes in on flood events]
2 of 8 subregionsGawlerLeast Concern
Tallaringa (GVD05)Great Victoria DesertLeast Concern
  [ephemeral, opportunistic, flood spp.]
Nullarbor Plain (NUL02)NullarborLeast Concern
  [needs rain]
2 of 4 subregionsBroken Hill ComplexRare
3 of 4 subregionsSimpson Strzelecki DunefieldsLeast Concern
, Near Threatened
6 of 7 subregionsStony PlainsLeast Concern
4 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 Cullen]
Name derivation:
Cullen named after William Cullen (1710-1790), a Scottish physician and chemist who lectured at the University of Glasgow on botany, among other things . Cinereum from Latin meaning ashy-grey, alluding to the grey appearance of the plant due hairs on the stems and leaves.
Found mainly in the north-east corner of South Australia, with a small distribution on the Nullarbor growing in moist depressions and on floodplains. Also found in all mainland States.
Native. Common in South Australia. Rare in Victoria. Common in the other States.
Plant description:
Erect or ascending annual or perennial herb to 1 m tall with glabrous or grey-pubescent stems. Leaves pinnately trifoliate to 10 cm long. Leaflets ovate or elliptic to 5 cm long and 30 mm wide usually with both surfaces minutely hoary and dotted with glands; apices obtuse, mucronate; margins irregularly toothed. Flower-spike to 15 cm lon, with blue or pink-purple flowers, mostly in 3s along spike. Flowers probably all year round, depending on rainfall.
Fruit type:
Brown reniform pod with distinct brown-yellow glands, with one seed.
Seed type:
Dark brown bean-shaped seed to 6 mm long and 4 mm wide, with a warty surface and covered in yellowish hairs.
Embryo type:
Seed collecting:
Collect maturing pods, those that are fat, turning black and contain a brown seed inside, by running your hands along the fruit-spikes.
Seed cleaning:
Place the pods in a tray and leave to dry for 1 to 2 weeks or until the pods begin to split. Then rub the dried pods to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate any 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:
From two collections, the seed viability was high, ranging from 90% to 100%.
Seed germination:
This species has physical dormancy that needs to be overcome for the seed to germinate (e.g. nicking or softening the seed coat).
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
5600 (15.22 g)
5800 (15.67 g)
23-Oct-2004MOL 4568
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.