Seeds of South Australia
Hemichroa mesembryanthema (Amaranthaceae)
Pigface Hemichroa
List of species for Hemichroa
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Seed collecting:
January to December
Herbarium region:
Lake Eyre
NRM region:
South Australian Arid Lands
IBRA region
Oodnadatta (STP02)Stony Plains
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D2)   [highly localised; threatened by roadworks, tourists, uncertain of recruitment]
Peake-Dennison Inlier (STP04) 
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D2)   [highly localised; threatened by roadworks, tourists, uncertain of recruitment]
Baltana (STP07) 
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D2)   [highly localised; threatened by roadworks, tourists, uncertain of recruitment]
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 Hemichroa]
SA Flora:
Flora of South Australia Edition 5
Name derivation:
Hemichroa from the Greek 'hemi' meaning half and 'chroa' meaning colour; referring to the perianth of Hemichroa pentandra which is sometimes pink inside, whitish outside. Mesembryanthema from the Greek 'mesembria' meaning noon and 'anthemon' meaning flower; alluding to the flowers blooming at noon.
Found in the north central part of South Australia, growing with samphire and chenopod species on low-lying flats, mound springs, or along drainage systems in saline clay loam. Also found in Queensland.
Native. Rare in South Australia. Uncommon in Queensland.
Plant description:
Erect, bushy, woody shrub to 150 cm high with stems divaricate, finely striate, glabrous or papillose, often somewhat spine-tipped. Leaves opposite, to 20 mm long and 4 mm wide, grey-green. Flower-spike solitary, axillary with white and pink to red stamens flowers. Flowering between March and April.
Fruit type:
Brown woody fruit, persistent in bract axils.
Seed type:
Brown pear-shaped seed to 3 mm long and 2 mm wide.
Embryo type:
Seed collecting:
Collect fruit that are brown. Look for one with fat swilling at base.
Seed cleaning:
Place the fruit in a tray to dry. No further cleaning is required for storage. Each half of the fruit contain a seed in the woody swollen base. Store the fruit 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 low, at 40%.
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
BGA8800 (375 g)308-Oct-2010TST1064
Lake Eyre
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.