Seeds of South Australia
Phlegmatospermum richardsii (Cruciferae)
Nullarbor Cress
List of species for Phlegmatospermum
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Seed collecting:
September to November
Herbarium regions:
Nullarbor, Eyre Peninsula
NRM regions:
Alinytjara Wilurara, Eyre Peninsula
IBRA regions
Eyre Mallee (EYB05)Eyre Yorke Block
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)
Yalata (NUL03)Nullarbor
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D2)
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. Richardsii named after Annie Frances Richards (1845-1930), who lived at Fowler Bay, South Australia and collected plants for Mueller.
Found on the Nullarbor in South Australia, growing on sandy soil in open moss covered mallee, Also found in Western Australia.
Native. Very rare in South Australia. Very rare in Western Australia.
Plant description:
Erect annual herbs to 20 cm tall, covered in hairs. Basal leaves obovate, to 7 cm long, dentate to entire, stem leaves obovate to oblanceolate, to 4 cm long, shallowly lobed or entire. Inflorescence an elongated spike with yellow flowers. Flowering between July and September.
Fruit type:
Brown elliptic to ovate pod to 1 cm long, scarcely winged or notched, valves hairy.
Seed type:
Orange reniform seed to 1.5 mm long and 1.2 mm wide, with very fine tuberculates.
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.
Seed viability:
From one collection, the seed viability was high, at 90%.
Seed germination:
No information available
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
7100 (5.86 g)
7100 (5.86 g)
Jun-201090%+5°C, -18°C
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.