Seeds of South Australia
Frankenia cupularis (Frankeniaceae)
Cupped Sea-heath
List of species for Frankenia
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Seed collecting:
January to December
Herbarium regions:
Lake Eyre, Gairdner-Torrens, Flinders Ranges, Eastern
NRM region:
South Australian Arid Lands
IBRA regions
Olary Spur (FLB03)Flinders Lofty Block
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   (Probable Decline)   [needs gypsious soils, trampled]
Northern Flinders (FLB05) 
 Data Deficient
Gawler Volcanics (GAW02)Gawler
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))
Torrens (GAW06) 
 Near Threatened
Roxby (GAW07) 
 Data Deficient
Dieri (SSD03)Simpson Strzelecki Dunefields
 Data Deficient
Strzelecki Desert (SSD05) 
 Data Deficient
Oodnadatta (STP02)Stony Plains
 Data Deficient
Murnpeowie (STP03) 
 Data Deficient
Macumba (STP05) 
 Data Deficient
Baltana (STP07) 
 Data Deficient
Coongie (CHC06)Channel Country
 Data Deficient
Lake Pure (CHC07) 
 Data Deficient
IBRA regions
2 of 6 subregionsFlinders Lofty BlockRare
, Data Deficient
3 of 8 subregionsGawlerNear Threatened
, Rare
, Data Deficient
2 of 4 subregionsSimpson Strzelecki DunefieldsData Deficient
4 of 7 subregionsStony PlainsData Deficient
2 of 4 subregionsChannel CountryData Deficient
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 Frankenia]
Name derivation:
Frankenia named after Johan Frankenius (1590-1661), a Swedish botanist. Cupularis from Latin meaning a little cup; referring to the cup-shaped bracteolar sheath which is fused to the calyx.
Found on the north and north-eastern parts of South Australia, growing on sand flats and salt pans. Also found in the Northern Territory, Queensland and New South Wales.
Native. Uncommon in South Australia. Uncommon in the other states.
Plant description:
Small much-branched shrub. Branches differentiated into long- and short-shoots, which are either glabrous or covered in soft hairs. Long-shoot leaves to 11.5 mm long and 3.5 mm wide, oblong, ovate, oblanceolate or obovate, rarely linear, flat or with margins loosely to tightly revolute, surfaces a greyish yellow-green, glabrous or covered in soft hairs. Short-shoot leaves similar to long-shoot leaves. Inflorescence borne in long irregularly and highly branched opposite pairs with pink flowers, bracts and bracteoles oblong to ovate, to 10 mm long, upper surface with soft spreading hairs, most of lower surface exposed, cupular sheath fused to calyx, calyx 5–6 mm long, petals 6–8 mm long, stamens 6. Flowers possibly throughout the year.
Fruit type:
Small brown cylindrical capsule.
Embryo type:
Spatulate fully developed.
Seed collecting:
Look at the tip of branches for dried flower heads. Collect the heads that are cylindrical, brown, slightly fat at the base. This should contain small ovoid seed.
Seed cleaning:
Place the flower heads in a tray and leave to dry for at least a week. Then rub the dried heads gently to dislodge the seeds. Use a fine sieve to separate the seeds from 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 germination:
Seeds are non-dormant, viable seed should germinate readily.