Seeds of South Australia
Atriplex nessorhina (Chenopodiaceae)
Donald Duck saltbush
List of species for Atriplex
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Seed collecting:
January to December
Herbarium region:
NRM region:
South Australian Arid Lands
IBRA region
Myall Plains (GAW01)Gawler
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D2)   [very localised]
Kingoonya (GAW05) 
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D2)   [very localised]
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 Atriplex]
SA Flora:
Flora of South Australia Edition 5
Name derivation:
Atriplex from the Latin atriplexum' meaning an orach, a saltbush; an Ancient Latin name for this plant.
Found only around salt lakes east of Tarcoola, with one record in Lake Gilles in South Australia. Also found in Queensland and New South Wales.
Native. Rare in South Australia. Common in other states.
Plant description:
Rounded annual or short-lived perennial shrub to 30cm high. Leaves thin with a scaly sheen on each side; very narrow-oblong to oblanceolate, to 5cm long, acute to obtuse, entire or remotely dentate; narrowed at the base to an indefinite petiole. Male and female flowers on the same plant. Flowers in clusters, axillary glomerules with mixed male and female, the lower ones female.
Fruit type:
Pale-brown papery fruit to 10mm long with a central lob, splitting into two like a beak and with two short lobes on either side.
Seed type:
Small globular to semi-flat brown seeds 1-2mm long, at the base of the fruit.
Embryo type:
Seed collecting:
Rub hands through the branches to dislodge mature fruits from the plant. The pale-brown mature fruit  should full off easily with a hard brown seed inside.
Seed cleaning:
Place the fruits in a tray and leave to dry for one to two weeks. No cleaning is required if only the fruits are collected. The seed can be stored in the fruit or can be cleaned further. Rub the fruit gently by hand to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate the 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 one collection, the seed viability was high, at 75%.
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
6500 (10.52 g)
6500 (10.52 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.
Germination table:
DateResultT0T50Pre-treatment | Germination medium | Incubator: Photoperiod / Thermoperiod
Apr-1098%9 d15 d
1% agar with 250 mg/L gibberellic acid (pH 6.5);
Incubated under spring/autumn conditions
Apr-1084%9 d21 d
1% agar with 250 mg/L gibberellic acid (pH 6.5);
Incubated under winter conditions
Apr-1038%9 dNA
1% agar;
Incubated under spring/autumn conditions
Apr-1038%9 dNA
1% agar;
Incubated under winter conditions
Apr-1032%9 dNA
1% agar with 100 mg/L potassium nitrate;
Incubated under spring/autumn conditions
Apr-1030%9 dNA
1% agar with 100 mg/L potassium nitrate;
Incubated under winter conditions
Result: Maximum percentage of germination observed.
T0: Number of days before first germinant observed.
T50: Number of days to achieve 50% germination.
Pre-treatment: The initial treatment that the seeds received prior to placement on germination media.
Germination medium: The substrate that seeds were placed on for the duration of the germination experiment.
Incubator conditions:
Photoperiod: The duration of light exposure that the seeds were subject to during a 24 hour period.
Thermoperiod: The constant or diurnal temperatures that seeds were subject to during a 24 hour period.
Winter conditions: 15°C 20 h (3am→11pm); 5°C 4 h (11pm→3am) / 10 h light (8am→6pm); 14 h dark (6pm→8am)
Spring/Autumn conditions: 22°C 12 h (8am→8pm); 10°C 12 h (8pm→8am) / 12 h light (8am→8pm); 12 h dark (8pm→8am)
Summer conditions: 30°C 14 h (6am→8pm); 15°C 10 h (8pm→6am) / 14 h light (6am→8pm); 10 h dark (8pm→6am)