Seeds of South Australia
Ptilotus decipiens (Amaranthaceae)
False Mulla Mulla
List of species for Ptilotus
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Seed collecting:
September to December
Herbarium regions:
North Western, Lake Eyre, Gairdner-Torrens, Flinders Ranges, Eastern, Eyre Peninsula
NRM regions:
Alinytjara Wilurara, Eyre Peninsula, South Australian Arid Lands
IBRA regions
Northern Flinders (FLB05)Flinders Lofty Block
 Least Concern
Central Flinders (FLB06) 
 Near Threatened
Myall Plains (GAW01)Gawler
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))
Gawler Volcanics (GAW02) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Gawler Lakes (GAW03) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Kingoonya (GAW05) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))
Kintore (GVD04)Great Victoria Desert
 Near Threatened
Mann-Musgrave Block (CER01)Central Ranges
 Least Concern
Watarru (CER02) 
 Near Threatened
Everard Block (CER03) 
 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 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. Decipiens means deceptive or false; alluding to the plant not looking like other Ptilotus.
Distribution:
Found in the central and far north-western parts of South Australia, growing in small patches, on rocky skeletal soils on slopes and crests of quartzite hills or sandstone ridges, with mixed shrubs and herbs. Also found Western Australia, Northern Territory and Queensland.
Status:
Native. Common in South Australia. Uncommon in Western Australia and Queensland. Common in Northern Territory.
Plant description:
Low herbs, sometimes semi-prostrate, to 30 cm high with stems and leaves hairy, glabrescent with age. Leaves ovate, elliptic or rarely obovate, to 35 mm long and 15 mm wide. Inflorescences numerous axillary, globose or ovoid, to 1.2 cm long, with 30 cream, white or greenish, apices sometimes purple or reddish flowers covered in dense hairs. Flowers all year, but mainly between July  and September.
Fruit type:
Whitish globular head containing numerous long papery and hairy fruits, each containing one seed.
Seed type:
Black globular-reniform seed to 2 mm diameter.
Embryo type:
Peripheral.
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 viability:
From two collections, the seed viability was high, Ranging from 85% to 100%.
Seed germination:
Seeds are non-dormant, viable seed should germinate readily.
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
BGA345 (0.17 g)514-Dec-2010KHB554
Flinders Ranges
1-Jan-2012100%
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.
Germination table:
DateResultT0T50Pre-treatment | Germination medium | Incubator: Photoperiod / Thermoperiod
Oct-1522%7 dNA
1% agar;
Incubated under winter conditions
Oct-1512%7 dNA
1% agar;
Incubated under spring/autumn conditions
Result: Maximum percentage of germination observed.
T0: Number of days before first germinant observed.
T50: Number of days to achieve 50% germination.
Pre-treatment: The initial treatment that the seeds received prior to placement on germination media.
Germination medium: The substrate that seeds were placed on for the duration of the germination experiment.
Incubator conditions:
Photoperiod: The duration of light exposure that the seeds were subject to during a 24 hour period.
Thermoperiod: The constant or diurnal temperatures that seeds were subject to during a 24 hour period.
Winter conditions: 15°C 20 h (3am→11pm); 5°C 4 h (11pm→3am) / 10 h light (8am→6pm); 14 h dark (6pm→8am)
Spring/Autumn conditions: 22°C 12 h (8am→8pm); 10°C 12 h (8pm→8am) / 12 h light (8am→8pm); 12 h dark (8pm→8am)
Summer conditions: 30°C 14 h (6am→8pm); 15°C 10 h (8pm→6am) / 14 h light (6am→8pm); 10 h dark (8pm→6am)