Seeds of South Australia
Microlepidium pilosulum (Cruciferae)
Hairy Shepherd's-purse
List of species for Microlepidium
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Seed collecting:
September to December
Herbarium regions:
Eyre Peninsula, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Kangaroo Island
NRM regions:
Alinytjara Wilurara, Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin
IBRA regions
Kangaroo Island (KAN01)Kanmantoo
 Near Threatened   [aong the coast]
Fleurieu (KAN02) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [tiny sp; in Hartley area]
Southern Yorke (EYB01)Eyre Yorke Block
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)
Eyre Hills (EYB03) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   (Probable Decline)   [needs intact habitat]
Talia (EYB04) 
 Least Concern
Eyre Mallee (EYB05) 
 Least Concern
Murray Mallee (MDD02)Murray Darling Depression
 Least Concern   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [limestone under mallee; annual]
Yalata (NUL03)Nullarbor
 Least Concern
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 Microlepidium]
Name derivation:
Microlepidium from the Greek 'mikros' meaning small and the genus Lepidium (from the Greek 'lepis' meaning a scale); alluding to much smaller habit of the genus to Lipidium. Pilosulum from the Latin 'pilosus' meaning hairy; referring to the plant covered in hairs.
Found  along the Nullarbor, western Eyre Peninsula, southern Yorke Peninsula, Kangaroo Island and in the Murrayland  in South Australia, growing on sand and loam in coastal dunes and salt lake margins. Also found in Western Australia and Victoria.
Native. Uncommon in South Australia. Rare in Victoria. Uncommon in the other states.
Plant description:
Spreading to erect annual herb to 20 cm tall, branching and hairy Basal leaves obovate, to 2 cm long, remotely dentate to entire, stem leaves similar, to 1.5 cm long. Inflorescence along the upper part of the stems with tiny white flowers. Flowering between July to November.
Fruit type:
Red to brown wedge-shaped pod to 5 mm long and 2 mm wide, apex broadly notched.
Seed type:
Brown ovoid seed to 0.7 mm long and 0.4 mm wide.
Embryo type:
Seed collecting:
Collect whole plants, those with maturing pods, turning reddish 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.
Seed viability:
From two collections, the seed viability were average to high, ranging from 65% to 100%.
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
10700 (0.48 g)
10700 (0.48 g)
Eyre Peninsula
20-Jul-2009100%+5°C, -18°C
BGA19000 (0.96 g)50+8-Oct-2008TST556
Kangaroo Island
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.