Seeds of South Australia
Eryngium supinum (Umbelliferae)
Little Devil
List of species for Eryngium
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Seed collecting:
September to December
Herbarium region:
Lake Eyre
NRM region:
South Australian Arid Lands
IBRA regions
Baltana (STP07)Stony Plains
 Near Threatened
Diamantina-Eyre (CHC04)Channel Country
 Near Threatened
Coongie (CHC06) 
 Near Threatened
Mann-Musgrave Block (CER01)Central Ranges
 Data Deficient   [(no records) recorded as E vesiculosum]
Everard Block (CER03) 
 Data Deficient   [(no records) recorded as E vesiculosum]
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 Eryngium]
Name derivation:
Eryngium from the Greco-Latin 'eryngion' meaning 'sea holly'. May also be from the Greek 'eryngano' meaning to belch, as the plant was used as a remedy for flatulence. Supinum from the Latin 'supinus' meaning bent backwards, or lying on the back; referring to the species prostrate habit.
Found scattered in north-east South Australia growing on temporarily flooded ground on cracking clays. Also found in the Northern Territory, Queensland and New South Wales.
Native. Uncommon in South Australia. Uncommon in the Northern Territory and New South Wales. Common in Queensland.
Plant description:
Procumbent or prostrate perennial herb with stiff, cylindrical, usually prostrate branches. Leaves almost flaccid with basal leaves flat, lanceolate, to 25 mm long and 6 mm wide, tapering into a longer (3-6 cm) tubular slender petiole; stem-leaves similar but larger (sometimes to 20 mm broad with 3 acute pungent-tipped lobes and sometimes denticulate below the lateral lobes). Flower-heads axillary, at first round, then cylindrical to 23 mm long and 10 mm wide; bluish flowers with green or purple bracts. Flowering between September and October.
Fruit type:
Spiky, pale-brown cylinder-shaped fruit head.
Seed type:
Brown ovoid seeds to 4 mm long and 2 mm wide, covered in erect, thick white hair and with  2-3 spikes at one end.
Embryo type:
Linear under-developed.
Seed collecting:
Collect heads that are drying and turning a straw colour. Be careful as the plant can be very prickly. Collect more than what is required as not all seeds will be viable.
Seed cleaning:
Place the heads in a tray and leave to dry for two weeks. Then rub the heads with a rubber bung and not with your hands as the heads are prickly. Then use a sieve to separate the unwanted material. Use an aspirator (if available) to remove the lighter non-viable seeds from the heavy viable 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.
Seed viability:
From one collection, the seed viability was high, at 100%.
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
7700 (7.4 g)
7700 (7.4 g)
Lake Eyre
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.