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.
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.
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.