Seeds of South Australia
Heliotropium asperrimum (Boraginaceae)
Rough Heliotrope
List of species for Heliotropium
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Seed collecting:
May to December
Herbarium regions:
North Western, Lake Eyre, Gairdner-Torrens, Flinders Ranges, Eastern, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, South Eastern
NRM regions:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Alinytjara Wilurara, Eyre Peninsula, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin
IBRA regions
Bridgewater (NCP01)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Regionally Extinct   [possibly extinct]
Lucindale (NCP03) 
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D2)   [Cath Alcock has seen near Naracoorte, Lake Omerod]
Fleurieu (KAN02)Kanmantoo
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D2)   [edge of range; Saunders Ck Gorge]
Broughton (FLB02)Flinders Lofty Block
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU A2c+4c)   (Probable Decline)   [probably under collected]
Olary Spur (FLB03) 
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU A2c+4c)   (Probable Decline)   [probably under collected]
Southern Flinders (FLB04) 
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU A2c+4c)   (Probable Decline)   [probably under collected]
Northern Flinders (FLB05) 
 Least Concern
Central Flinders (FLB06) 
 Least Concern
St Vincent (EYB02)Eyre Yorke Block
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU A2c+4c)   (Probable Decline)   [probably under collected]
Eyre Hills (EYB03) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   (Probable Decline)
Eyre Mallee (EYB05) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   (Probable Decline)
Murray Mallee (MDD02)Murray Darling Depression
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)   [edge of range; needs more surveys]
Myall Plains (GAW01)Gawler
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   (Probable Decline)
Gawler Volcanics (GAW02) 
 Near Threatened
Gawler Lakes (GAW03) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))
Kingoonya (GAW05) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))
Torrens (GAW06) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [(no records) on Witchelina]
Kintore (GVD04)Great Victoria Desert
 Least Concern
Bimbowrie (BHC05)Broken Hill Complex
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU A2c+4c)   (Probable Decline)   [probably under collected]
Curnamona (BHC06) 
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU A2c+4c)   (Probable Decline)   [probably under collected]
Breakaways (STP01)Stony Plains
 Near Threatened
Oodnadatta (STP02) 
 Near Threatened
Murnpeowie (STP03) 
 Near Threatened
Macumba (STP05) 
 Near Threatened
Witjira (STP06) 
 Near Threatened
Lake Pure (CHC07)Channel Country
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Mann-Musgrave Block (CER01)Central Ranges
 Least Concern
Watarru (CER02) 
 Least Concern
Everard Block (CER03) 
 Least Concern
Pedirka (FIN04)Finke
 Near Threatened
IBRA regions
2 of 4 subregionsNaracoorte Coastal PlainVulnerable
, Regionally Extinct
Fleurieu (KAN02)KanmantooVulnerable
  (IUCN: VU D2)   [edge of range; Saunders Ck Gorge]
5 of 6 subregionsFlinders Lofty BlockLeast Concern
, Vulnerable
3 of 5 subregionsEyre Yorke BlockRare
, Vulnerable
Murray Mallee (MDD02)Murray Darling DepressionVulnerable
  (IUCN: VU B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)   [edge of range; needs more surveys]
5 of 8 subregionsGawlerNear Threatened
, Rare
Kintore (GVD04)Great Victoria DesertLeast Concern
2 of 4 subregionsBroken Hill ComplexVulnerable
5 of 7 subregionsStony PlainsNear Threatened
Lake Pure (CHC07)Channel CountryRare
  (IUCN: RA d(ii))
3 of 3 subregionsCentral RangesLeast Concern
Pedirka (FIN04)FinkeNear Threatened
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 Heliotropium]
Name derivation:
Heliotropium from the Greek 'helios' meaning sun and 'tropos' meaning turn; probably alluding to an early belief that the flowers turned to face the sun. Asperrimum from the Latin 'asper' meaning rough.
Found from the far north-west corner down to the Murray River in South Australia, growing on rocky hillsides, sandstone slope, open granite country, near watercourse on stony soil and on stony red earth. Also found in Western Australia, Northern Territory, New South Wales and Victoria.
Native. Common in South Australia. Rare in Victoria. Common in the other states.
Plant description:
Ascending to spreading perennial shrub to 100 cm tall with long and short simple and glandular hairs on the stems, leaves and calyx. Leaves narrowly elliptic, suboblong to obovate, to 85 mm long and 16 mm wide, shortly petiolate, the apex obtuse to acute, the margin revolute and slightly undulate. Inflorescence terminal clusters with numerous white flowers. Flowering throughout the year, often between August and October.
Fruit type:
Brown suboblong to narrowly suboblong capsules to 3.2 mm long and 1.7 mm wide, with 4 segments which falls off at maturity.
Seed type:
Dark brown kidney-shaped seed to 2.5 mm long and 1.5 mm wide, with slightly wrinkled surface.
Embryo type:
Spatulate fully developed.
Seed collecting:
Collect mature capsule, those that are drying off, turning brown and contain dark, hard seeds inside. Can collect individual fruit cluster or break off whole heads.
Seed cleaning:
Place the capsules in a tray and leave to dry for one to two weeks. Then rub the fruits 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 two collections, the seed viability were average to high, ranging from 75% to 100%.
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage

700 (1.12 g)
Flinders Ranges

540 (0.71 g)
Flinders Ranges
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.