Seeds of South Australia
Ptilotus erubescens (Amaranthaceae)
Hairy Heads
List of species for Ptilotus
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Seed collecting:
December to March
Herbarium regions:
Flinders Ranges, Northern Lofty, Murray, Southern Lofty, South Eastern
NRM regions:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
IBRA regions
Fleurieu (KAN02)Kanmantoo
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   (Probable Decline)
Mount Lofty Ranges (FLB01)Flinders Lofty Block
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   (Probable Decline)   [not found in large numbers; declining in southern MLR]
Broughton (FLB02) 
 Least Concern   [Widespread but not common]
Olary Spur (FLB03) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i))
Lowan Mallee (MDD04)Murray Darling Depression
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN D)   [grassy ecosystem spp; possible decline]
Wimmera (MDD05) 
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D1+2)   [poss. decline]
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. Erubescens from the Latin 'erubesco' meaning blushing or becoming red; referring to the presence of pink bracts upon the predominantly green flower as it mature, give them the appearance of blushing.
Distribution:
Found mainly in the southern Flinders Ranges and Mount Lofty Ranges in South Australia with an isolated destruction near Bordertown, growing fertile soil in grassy woodland. Also found in New South Wales and Victoria. 
Status:
Native. Rare in South Australia. Uncommon in the other states.
Plant description:
Erect perennial herb with a woody rootstock and stems to 40cm tall, hairy when young. Leaves clustered at the base of the plant and alternating up the stems.  Basal leaves to 120 mm long and 4mm wide, stem leaves to 30 mm long and 3mm wide, linear to narrow and  flat, hairy becoming hairless, with pointed tips. Flower-spikes spherical to oval, solitary at the tops of the stems with greenish to red or purple, covered with silvery white hairs. Flowering between October to February.
Fruit type:
Whitish globular head containing numerous long papery and hairy fruits, each containing one seed.
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 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
BGA780 (8.66 g)25+9-Jan-2006KHB045
Southern Lofty
28-Jul-200625%-18°C
BGA 
MSB
2900 (26 g)
2900 (26 g)
100+10-Jan-2006DDC1422
Northern Lofty
28-Jul-200635%+5°C, -18°C
BGA690 (0.6 g)100+22-Dec-2008TST679
Southern Lofty
20-Jul-200970%-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.
Germination table:
DateResultT0T50Pre-treatment | Germination medium | Incubator: Photoperiod / Thermoperiod
Jul-16100%7 d7 d leached in water 24 h;
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)