Seeds of South Australia
Heliotropium filaginoides (Boraginaceae)
Woolly Heliotrope
List of species for Heliotropium
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Seed collecting:
September to November
Herbarium regions:
North Western, Lake Eyre, Eastern
NRM regions:
Alinytjara Wilurara, South Australian Arid Lands
IBRA regions
Northern Flinders (FLB05)Flinders Lofty Block
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))
Kintore (GVD04)Great Victoria Desert
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   (Probable Decline)   [buffel a threat]
Dieri (SSD03)Simpson Strzelecki Dunefields
 Data Deficient   [imprecise location]
Oodnadatta (STP02)Stony Plains
 Least Concern
Murnpeowie (STP03) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))
Macumba (STP05) 
 Least Concern
Witjira (STP06) 
 Least Concern
Sturt Stony Desert (CHC02)Channel Country
 Least Concern
Tieyon (FIN03)Finke
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   (Probable Decline)   [buffel a threat]
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. Filaginoides means resembling the genus Filago (from the Latin 'filum' meaning threadlike, in reference to its cotton-like flower heads).
Distribution:
Found scattered across the upper northern part of South Australia, growing on stony ground. Also found in Northern Territory and Queensland.
Status:
Native. Uncommon in South Australia. Common in the other states.
Plant description:
Perennial herb to 20 cm tall, usually cushion-shaped with dense white hairs on the stems, leaves and calyx. Leaves narrowly lanceolate to narrowly elliptic, to 9 mm long and 1.5 mm wide, subsessile, the apex obtuse, the margin revolute. Inflorescence a much reduced cyme usually consisting of 1 to few, white with the throat yellow flowers.
Fruit type:
Brown capsules retained within the calyx at maturity.
Seed type:
Brown sectoroid seed to 1.5 mm long and 1 mm wide, covered in long white hairs.
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 one collection, the seed viability was high, at 100%.