Seeds of South Australia
Ptilotus aristatus ssp. aristatus (Amaranthaceae)
Pink Pussy-tail
List of species for Ptilotus
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Seed collecting:
October to November
Herbarium region:
Lake Eyre
NRM region:
South Australian Arid Lands
IBRA region
Witjira (STP06)Stony Plains
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [1 old record; locally common, some records under old names]
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 Ptilotus]
SA Flora:
Flora of South Australia Edition 5
Name derivation:
Ptilotus from the Greek 'ptilotos' meaning feathered or winged; referring to the hairy flowers. Aristatus from the Greek 'arista' meaning awned.
Found in the far north central part of South Australia, growing in open vegetation on gibber plains or slopes with loam or clay textured soils. Also found in the Northern Territory.
Native. Rare in South Australia. Rare in the Northern Territory.
Plant description:
Perennial or sometime annual herb to 40 cm high with stout taproot, stems striate, with sparse to dense hairs, often hairless. Leaves sessile, with sparse hairs, hairs denser on new growth and in leaf axils but often hairless, green, drying pale green or yellowish-green. Basal leaves spathulate, obovate or rarely narrowly obovate, to 110 mm long including the long base which is usually equal to or longer than upper wider portion and 25 mm wide. Stem leaves ovate, narrowly ovate, elliptic, obovate or narrowly obovate, to 52 mm long and 14 mm wide. Flower-spikes ovoid or subcylindrical to 60 mm long and 35 mm wide, with pink to pinkish-purple flowers covered in dense hairs. Flowering between April and November.
Fruit type:
Ovoid head containing numerous long papery and hairy fruits, each containing one seed.
Embryo type:
Seed collecting:
Be very careful when collecting this species as the fruits contain fine hairs that may cause an allergic reaction for some people. Collect the fruit heads when dried to a pale straw colour. Each fruit should come off the head easily when fingers are rubbed up the stem. Collect more fruits than required as not all fruits will have a viable seed.
Seed cleaning:
Be very careful when cleaning this species as the fruits contain fine hairs that may cause an allergic reaction for some people. To clean, rub the fruit heads gently to dislodge the seed at the base of each fruit. 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 germination:
Seeds are non-dormant, viable seed should germinate readily.