Seeds of South Australia
Maireana decalvans (Chenopodiaceae)
Black Cotton-bush
List of species for Maireana
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Seed collecting:
November to May
Herbarium regions:
Northern Lofty, Murray, Southern Lofty
NRM regions:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin
IBRA regions
Mount Lofty Ranges (FLB01)Flinders Lofty Block
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)   [highly restricted; threatened by coastal devleopment]
St Vincent (EYB02)Eyre Yorke Block
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Definite Decline)   [Likes wetter, higher rainfall areas; occurs in specific areas. Habitat threatened by development.]
South Olary Plain (MDD01)Murray Darling Depression
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [sandy soils; highly localised; not readily eaten; Bob C says probably okay, not common]
Murray Scroll Belt (RIV06)Riverina
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [sandy soils; highly localised; not readily eaten; Bob C says probably okay, not common]
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 Maireana]
SA Flora:
Flora of South Australia Edition 5
Name derivation:
'Maireana' after the 19th certury belgium botanist Adolphe Lemaire and 'decalvans' meaning balding or becoming hairless.
Found in heavy seasonally waterlogged soil. Recorded in the Mount Lofty Ranges and in Danggali Conservation Park, Murray region.
Endangered in South Australia.  Also recorded  in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.
Plant description:
Bushy shrub to 50 cm high. Slender branches, woolly or glabrous, often woolly in the leaf axils.  Leaves slender, alternate 5-8 mm long, fleshy and glabrous.  Flowers solitary, glabrous. Flowering November to May.
Fruit type:
Fruiting perianth glabrous with a simple, horizontal thin wing with a single radial split.
Seed type:
Ellipsoid to circular brown, convex seed.
Embryo type:
Seed collecting:
Collect seeds when fruits are brown and papery. Check inside several fruits for the presence of well developed seed before making a collection. Strip or shake fruiting branches into a container.
Seed cleaning:
Remove twigs and other plant material.
Seed viability:
Varied, between 40 - 70 % from 4 collections
Seed germination:
Germinates readily with no treatment.
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
15831+15988 (25.33+25.58 g)
32300 (51.8 g)
~3011-Feb-2005MKJ 83
Southern Lofty
28-Mar-200670%+5°C, -18°C
BGA1092 (1.53 g)~2011-Feb-2005MKJ 81
Southern Lofty
2086 (4.59 g)
1790 (3.41 g)
~612-Feb-2005MKJ 84
Southern Lofty
BGA1300 (3.05 g)3-Feb-2011Joe Quarmby
Southern Lofty
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.