Seeds of South Australia
Menkea australis (Cruciferae)
Fairy Spectacles
List of species for Menkea
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Seed collecting:
August to February
Herbarium regions:
North Western, Lake Eyre, Nullarbor, Gairdner-Torrens, Flinders Ranges, Eastern, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, South Eastern
NRM regions:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Alinytjara Wilurara, Eyre Peninsula, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
IBRA regions
Mount Gambier (SVP02)Southern Volcanic Plain
 Data Deficient
Lucindale (NCP03)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D2)   [(no records) C Alcock has seen]
Broughton (FLB02)Flinders Lofty Block
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i))
Olary Spur (FLB03) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i))
Southern Flinders (FLB04) 
 Regionally Extinct   [regionally extinct? ]
Northern Flinders (FLB05) 
 Near Threatened   [annual; easily dispersed]
Central Flinders (FLB06) 
 Near Threatened   [annual; easily dispersed]
St Vincent (EYB02)Eyre Yorke Block
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i))   [naturally rare, ephemeral, restricted habitat]
Eyre Hills (EYB03) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [undercollected]
Talia (EYB04) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [possilbly undercollected]
Eyre Mallee (EYB05) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [possilbly undercollected]
South Olary Plain (MDD01)Murray Darling Depression
 Least Concern   [undercollected]
Murray Mallee (MDD02) 
 Least Concern   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [edge of range]
Murray Lakes and Coorong (MDD03) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [undercollected ]
Lowan Mallee (MDD04) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [edge of range]
Braemer (MDD07) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i))
Murray Scroll Belt (RIV06)Riverina
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [not typical habitat]
Myall Plains (GAW01)Gawler
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [possilbly undercollected]
Gawler Volcanics (GAW02) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [possilbly undercollected]
Gawler Lakes (GAW03) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [possilbly undercollected]
Arcoona Plateau (GAW04) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [possilbly undercollected]
Kingoonya (GAW05) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [possilbly undercollected]
Roxby (GAW07) 
 Near Threatened   [(no records)]
Maralinga (GVD03)Great Victoria Desert
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [possilbly undercollected]
Kintore (GVD04) 
 Near Threatened   [annual; easily dispersed]
Tallaringa (GVD05) 
 Near Threatened   [annual; easily dispersed]
Yellabinna (GVD06) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [possilbly undercollected]
Strzelecki Desert (SSD05)Simpson Strzelecki Dunefields
 Near Threatened   [annual; easily dispersed]
Breakaways (STP01)Stony Plains
 Near Threatened   [annual; easily dispersed]
Oodnadatta (STP02) 
 Near Threatened   [annual; easily dispersed]
Murnpeowie (STP03) 
 Near Threatened   [annual; easily dispersed]
Peake-Dennison Inlier (STP04) 
 Near Threatened   [annual; easily dispersed]
Baltana (STP07) 
 Near Threatened   [annual; easily dispersed]
Watarru (CER02)Central Ranges
 Near Threatened   [annual; easily dispersed]
IBRA regions
Mount Gambier (SVP02)Southern Volcanic PlainData Deficient
Lucindale (NCP03)Naracoorte Coastal PlainVulnerable
  (IUCN: VU D2)   [(no records) C Alcock has seen]
5 of 6 subregionsFlinders Lofty BlockNear Threatened
, Rare
, Regionally Extinct
4 of 5 subregionsEyre Yorke BlockRare
5 of 6 subregionsMurray Darling DepressionLeast Concern
, Rare
Murray Scroll Belt (RIV06)RiverinaRare
  (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [not typical habitat]
6 of 8 subregionsGawlerNear Threatened
, Rare
4 of 4 subregionsGreat Victoria DesertNear Threatened
, Rare
Strzelecki Desert (SSD05)Simpson Strzelecki DunefieldsNear Threatened
  [annual; easily dispersed]
5 of 7 subregionsStony PlainsNear Threatened
Watarru (CER02)Central RangesNear Threatened
  [annual; easily dispersed]
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 Menkea]
Name derivation:
Menkea named after Karl Theodor Menke (1791-1861), a German malacologist, physician and botanist. Australis means of or from the south; referring to the distribution of the species in the southern hemisphere. 
Found scattered across South Australia, growing in a variety of habitat on sandy, often disturbed soils. Also found in Western Australia, New South Wales and Victoria.
Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other states.
Plant description:
Prostrate herb with stems to 25 cm long, glabrous. Basal leaves spathulate, entire to pinnate, stem leaves narrow-obovate, entire or shallowly lobed. Inflorescence an elongating spike with tiny white to pink or mauve flowers. Flowering between May and December.
Fruit type:
Brown elliptic pod to 7 mm long and 3.5 mm wide, slightly flattened.
Seed type:
Dark brown ellipsoid seed to 0.6 mm long and 0.4 mm wide, with a slight wrinkled surface.
Embryo type:
Seed collecting:
Collect maturing pods those turning pale brown with hard seeds inside. Be gentle with the pods as they split open easily.
Seed cleaning:
Place the pods in a tray and cover with paper to prevent seeds from popping out and leave to dry for a week. Then rub the dried pods 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.
Germination table:
DateResultT0T50Pre-treatment | Germination medium | Incubator: Photoperiod / Thermoperiod
Jun-1792%1428 500 mg/L gibberellic acid for 24 h;
1% agar;
Incubated under spring/autumn conditions
Jun-1788%1428 500 mg/L gibberellic acid for 24 h;
1% agar;
Incubated under winter conditions
Jun-1717%21NA seeds leached in water for 24 h;
1% agar;
Incubated under winter conditions
Jun-172%42NA seeds leached in water for 24 h;
1% agar;
Incubated under spring/autumn conditions
Result: Maximum percentage of germination observed.
T0: Number of days before first germinant observed.
T50: Number of days to achieve 50% germination.
Pre-treatment: The initial treatment that the seeds received prior to placement on germination media.
Germination medium: The substrate that seeds were placed on for the duration of the germination experiment.
Incubator conditions:
Photoperiod: The duration of light exposure that the seeds were subject to during a 24 hour period.
Thermoperiod: The constant or diurnal temperatures that seeds were subject to during a 24 hour period.
Winter conditions: 15°C 20 h (3am→11pm); 5°C 4 h (11pm→3am) / 10 h light (8am→6pm); 14 h dark (6pm→8am)
Spring/Autumn conditions: 22°C 12 h (8am→8pm); 10°C 12 h (8pm→8am) / 12 h light (8am→8pm); 12 h dark (8pm→8am)
Summer conditions: 30°C 14 h (6am→8pm); 15°C 10 h (8pm→6am) / 14 h light (6am→8pm); 10 h dark (8pm→6am)