Seeds of South Australia
Actites megalocarpus (Compositae)
Dune Thistle
List of species for Actites
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Seed collecting:
November to March
Herbarium regions:
Eyre Peninsula, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern
NRM regions:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, Northern and Yorke, South East
IBRA regions
Bridgewater (NCP01)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Least Concern
Kangaroo Island (KAN01)Kanmantoo
 Least Concern   [coastal; well-protected within reserves]
Fleurieu (KAN02) 
 Near Threatened   [limited distribution; occurs in degraded areas; weeds a threat]
Mount Lofty Ranges (FLB01)Flinders Lofty Block
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [ephemeral ]
Southern Yorke (EYB01)Eyre Yorke Block
 Near Threatened   (Probable Decline)   [prone to weed invasion & development]
St Vincent (EYB02) 
 Near Threatened   (Probable Decline)   [prone to weed invasion & development]
Eyre Hills (EYB03) 
 Near Threatened   [undercollected]
Talia (EYB04) 
 Near Threatened   [undercollected]
Eyre Mallee (EYB05) 
 Near Threatened   [undercollected]
Murray Lakes and Coorong (MDD03)Murray Darling Depression
 Near Threatened   [should be A. megalocarpum, poss. Declining, pyp grass could be 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 Actites]
Name derivation:
Actites from the Greek 'aktites' meaning coast dweller, referring to the habitat of the species. Megalocarpa from the Greek 'megas' meaning large and 'carpos' meaning fruit, referring to the species' large heads.
Found along the coast in South Australia, on coastal dunes and cliffs. Also found in Western Australia, Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.
Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other States.
Plant description:
Fleshy perennial herb to 40 cm high, forming large clumps. Leaves oblanceolate to elliptic or lanceolate to 17 cm long and 4.5 cm wide, either tapering at base or cordate and sessile, margins sinuate-toothed. Large flower heads to 2 cm diameter, yellow sometimes pale-purple towards base. Flowering between September and February.
Fruit type:
Large fluffy daisy-heads.
Seed type:
Long brown, semi-flat ovoid seed to 8 mm long and 2 mm wide, with thin wings on either side.
Embryo type:
Spatulate fully developed.
Seed collecting:
Collect heads that are brown with fluffy white pappus and easily removed with your fingers.
Seed cleaning:
If only seeds collected, no further cleaning is required. If whole heads are collected, then place the heads in a tray for a week to dry. Then remove the seeds from the head with your fingers. They should come off easily. 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 80%.
Seed germination:
Seeds are non-dormant, viable seed should germinate readily.
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
BGA1500 (1.47 g)1022-Nov-2007RJB76077
South Eastern
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.