Seeds of South Australia
Polycarpaea arida (Caryophyllaceae)
Inland Copper Plant
List of species for Polycarpaea
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Seed collecting:
January to December
Herbarium regions:
North Western, Lake Eyre
NRM regions:
Alinytjara Wilurara, Eyre Peninsula
IBRA regions
Northern Flinders (FLB05)Flinders Lofty Block
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))
Kintore (GVD04)Great Victoria Desert
 Near Threatened
Warriner (SSD04)Simpson Strzelecki Dunefields
 Near Threatened
Strzelecki Desert (SSD05) 
 Near Threatened
Breakaways (STP01)Stony Plains
 Near Threatened
Oodnadatta (STP02) 
 Least Concern
Peake-Dennison Inlier (STP04) 
 Near Threatened
Macumba (STP05) 
 Near Threatened
Witjira (STP06) 
 Least Concern
Baltana (STP07) 
 Near Threatened
Sturt Stony Desert (CHC02)Channel Country
 Near Threatened
Coongie (CHC06) 
 Near Threatened
Mann-Musgrave Block (CER01)Central Ranges
 Near Threatened
Watarru (CER02) 
 Near Threatened
Everard Block (CER03) 
 Least Concern
IBRA regions
Northern Flinders (FLB05)Flinders Lofty BlockRare
  (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))
Kintore (GVD04)Great Victoria DesertNear Threatened
2 of 4 subregionsSimpson Strzelecki DunefieldsNear Threatened
6 of 7 subregionsStony PlainsLeast Concern
, Near Threatened
2 of 4 subregionsChannel CountryNear Threatened
3 of 3 subregionsCentral RangesLeast Concern
, Near Threatened
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 Polycarpaea]
Name derivation:
Polycarpaea from the Greek 'polycarpos', the name of some plants and derived from 'polys' meaning many and 'carpos' meaning fruit. Arida from the Latin 'aridus' meaning dry; alluding to the species arid habitat in the centre of Australia.
Found in the far northern part of South Australia, growing on top of breakaways and along drainage lines. Also found in Western Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland and New South Wales.
Native. Common in South Australia. Uncommon in Western Australia, Queensland and New South Wales. Common in Northern Territory.
Plant description:
Perennial herb with short and procumbent or somewhat erect stems to 10 cm long, stems covered in white hairs. Leaves linear to linear-lanceolate, mucronate, often clustered, glabrous, to 1 cm long. Flowers terminal of stems in forked groups with short copper red and white petals. Flowering throughout the year.
Fruit type:
Brown ovoid capsule to 2 mm long, opening by 3 valves.
Seed type:
Translucent brown ovoid brown seed to 4 mm long and 3 mm wide.
Embryo type:
Seed collecting:
Collect heads that are drying off and turning brown, these should contain small brown seeds.
Seed cleaning:
Place the heads in a tray and leave to dry for 1 to 2 weeks. Then rub the dried heads with a rubber bung to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate any unwanted material. Be careful as the seeds are very small. 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.