Seeds of South Australia
Phlegmatospermum eremaeum (Cruciferae)
Spreading Cress
List of species for Phlegmatospermum
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Seed collecting:
September to December
Herbarium regions:
Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Yorke Peninsula
NRM regions:
Northern and Yorke, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin
IBRA regions
Southern Yorke (EYB01)Eyre Yorke Block
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [undercollected]
St Vincent (EYB02) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [undercollected]
Eyre Mallee (EYB05) 
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Definite Decline)   [highly localised]
Murray Mallee (MDD02)Murray Darling Depression
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
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 Phlegmatospermum]
Name derivation:
Phlegmatospermum from the Greek 'phlegma' meaning inflammation and 'sperma' meaning a seed; referring to the mucous seeds. Eremaeum from the Greek 'eremos' meaning desert and suffix 'eum' meaning belonging to; referring to the habitat of the species in semi-arid areas.
Scattered distributions on the Nuallarbor and in the north-eastern and central parts of South Australia, growing in open mallee on calcareous clay or loam. Also found in Western Australia and Victoria.
Native. Uncommon in South Australia. Rare in Victoria. Uncommon in Western Australia.
Plant description:
Annual herbs, mostly prostrate to spreading with slender stems to 10 cm long, covered in appressed hairs. Basal leaves in rosette, to 4 cm long, pinnately lobed or scalloped, rarely entire, stem leaves obovate, to 2 cm long, toothed. Inflorescence a dense cluster with white or cream flowers, sometimes with purple bases and veins. Flowering between July and November.
Fruit type:
Brown spoon-shaped pod to 4 mm long, not winged, apex slightly notched, valves hairy with hairs often on a tuberculate base.
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.