Seeds of South Australia
Acaena echinata (Rosaceae)
Sheep's Burr
List of species for Acaena
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Seed collecting:
November to May
Herbarium regions:
Flinders Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern
NRM regions:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
IBRA regions
Mount Gambier (SVP02)Southern Volcanic Plain
 Least Concern   [undercollected]
Bridgewater (NCP01)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Least Concern   [undercollected]
Glenelg Plain (NCP02) 
 Least Concern
Lucindale (NCP03) 
 Least Concern
Tintinara (NCP04) 
 Least Concern   [undercollected]
Kangaroo Island (KAN01)Kanmantoo
 Least Concern
Fleurieu (KAN02) 
 Least Concern
Mount Lofty Ranges (FLB01)Flinders Lofty Block
 Least Concern
Broughton (FLB02) 
 Least Concern
Olary Spur (FLB03) 
 Least Concern
Southern Flinders (FLB04) 
 Least Concern
Central Flinders (FLB06) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [only in Wilpena ]
Southern Yorke (EYB01)Eyre Yorke Block
 Least Concern
St Vincent (EYB02) 
 Least Concern
Eyre Hills (EYB03) 
 Least Concern
Talia (EYB04) 
 Least Concern
Murray Mallee (MDD02)Murray Darling Depression
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   (Probable Decline)   [edge of range]
Murray Lakes and Coorong (MDD03) 
 Least Concern
Lowan Mallee (MDD04) 
 Least Concern
Wimmera (MDD05) 
 Least Concern
IBRA regions
Mount Gambier (SVP02)Southern Volcanic PlainLeast Concern
4 of 4 subregionsNaracoorte Coastal PlainLeast Concern
2 of 2 subregionsKanmantooLeast Concern
5 of 6 subregionsFlinders Lofty BlockLeast Concern
, Rare
4 of 5 subregionsEyre Yorke BlockLeast Concern
4 of 6 subregionsMurray Darling DepressionLeast Concern
, Rare
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 Acaena]
Name derivation:
Acaena from the Greek 'acaina' meaning a thorn, referring to the genus prickly fruit. Echinata from the Greek 'echinos' meaning a hedgehog, referring to the prickly fruit.
Found in the southern part of South Australia, growing in a variety of vegetation association and soil types. Also found in Western Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.
Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other States.
Plant description:
Erect or ascending perennial herb to 70 cm high. Leaves narrowly obovate to oblanceolate, with 4 or more pairs of leaflets, to 15 cm long. Leaflets ovate to oblong, the largest to 23 mm long and 13 mm wide; margins deeply lobed or serrate, flat or recurved; upper surface glabrous or sparsely pilose; lower surface sparsely pilose, mostly on veins and margins; stipules linear to triangular. Inflorescence an interrupted cylindric spike, with dark-purple stamens. Flowering between July and March.
Fruit type:
Cylindrical head consisting of numerous seeds. 
Seed type:
Spiny woody ovoid seed to 4 mm long and 3 mm wide excluding the spines, covered in fine hairs. Spines unequal in length.
Seed collecting:
Pick seeds that are turning brown. You can either pick whole fruit heads which will have numerous seeds or collect individual brown seeds. Be careful when collecting, as the seeds are spiny.
Seed cleaning:
Place the fruit heads in a tray and leave to dry for 1 to 2 weeks. If the collection consist of mainly individual seeds, then 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. If collected with other material, then rub the dried flower heads with a rubber bung to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate any unwanted material.
Seed germination:
Seeds are non-dormant, viable seed should germinate readily.