Seeds of South Australia
Eryngium vesiculosum (Umbelliferae)
Prostrate Blue Devil
List of species for Eryngium
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Seed collecting:
February to May
Herbarium regions:
North Western, Lake Eyre, Northern Lofty, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern
NRM regions:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Alinytjara Wilurara, Kangaroo Island, South Australian Arid Lands, South East
IBRA regions
Mount Gambier (SVP02)Southern Volcanic Plain
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)
Bridgewater (NCP01)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)   [localised]
Glenelg Plain (NCP02) 
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)
Lucindale (NCP03) 
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)
Kangaroo Island (KAN01)Kanmantoo
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D2)   [questionable ID, could be E ovinum]
Fleurieu (KAN02) 
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)   [in Meadows area, Deep Ck; threatened by spraying, grazing, trampling]
Mount Lofty Ranges (FLB01)Flinders Lofty Block
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)   [known from 3 pops; threatened by spraying, grazing, trampling]
Lowan Mallee (MDD04)Murray Darling Depression
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)
Wimmera (MDD05) 
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)   [grazed]
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. Vesiculosum  from the Latin 'vesicula' meaning a bladder; referring to the bladder-like scales covering the fruit.
Found scattered in South Australia, from the Lake Eyre region to the lower South-east, growing in sandy flats in low-lying damp areas. Also found in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.
Native. Rare in South Australia. Rare in Queensland. Common in the other states.
Plant description:
Short-lived perennial herb with long, prostrate branches to 30 cm long. Basal leaves in a rosette, oblanceolate or oblong, to 15 cm long and 1.5 cm wide, with coarse spreading spiny teeth. Flower-head round or ovoid at terminal of stalk from basal rosette and nodes of the branches, with white to blue flowers. Flowering between December and March.
Fruit type:
Spiky, brown ovoid fruit-head.
Seed type:
Brown ovoid seeds to 6 mm long and 4 mm wide, covered in bladder-like hairs and 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 three collections, the seed viability were low to high, ranging from 30% to 80%.
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
1000 (0.987 g)
1500 (1.472 g)
South Eastern
BGA950 (1.54 g)13-May-2009DJD1462
Southern Lofty
BGA2700 (3.34 g)2529-Apr-2010TST937
South Eastern
BGA4400 (5.8 g)50+29-Mar-2011DJD (Meadows)
Southern Lofty
1-Jan-201280%+5°C, -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.