Seeds of South Australia
Newcastelia cephalantha (Chloanthaceae)
Large-head Grey-bush
List of species for Newcastelia
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Seed collecting:
September to December
Herbarium regions:
North Western, Lake Eyre
NRM regions:
Alinytjara Wilurara, South Australian Arid Lands
AVH map:
Australian distribution map (external link)
SA Census:
Census of South Australian plants (external link)     [genus Newcastelia]
Name derivation:
Newcastelia named in honour of Henry Pelham Clinton, 5th Duke of Newcastle (1811-1868), who was Secretary of State for the Colonies between 1852 and 1854, and supplied funds for the north-western Australian Government Expedition of 1855. Cephalantha from the Greek 'cephale' meaning head and 'anthos' meaning flower.
Distribution:
Found in the far north-west and far north-east corners in South Australia, growing on red sandy soils in sandplains and dunes. Also found in Western Australia, Northern Territory and Queensland.
Status:
Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other states.
Plant description:
Shrub to 1.2 m high with much-branching stems with tawny-grey or whitish-grey hairs. Leaves decussate, sessile, ovate to oblong-lanceolate, with recurved-revolute margins, to 38 mm long and 10 mm wide, with a greyish or brownish-grey hairs and a midrib and lateral veins conspicuous beneath. Flowering spike subglobose or oblong woolly head at terminal of stems with white to purple-violet flowers. Flowering between June and October.
Fruit type:
White-grey woolly obovoid to globose fruit.
Seed collecting:
Collect mature fruit-heads, those turning a straw colour. Rub the fruit with your hands to see if there is any mature seeds before collecting. Collect by breaking off the whole fruit spike.
Seed cleaning:
Place the fruit-spikes in a tray and leave to dry for two weeks. Then rub the capsules gently by hand or with a rubber bung 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.