Seeds of South Australia
Ptilotus gaudichaudii ssp. parviflorus (Amaranthaceae)
Yellow Mulla Mulla
List of species for Ptilotus
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Seed collecting:
August to December
Herbarium regions:
Flinders Ranges, Eastern, Murray
NRM regions:
South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin
IBRA regions
Olary Spur (FLB03)Flinders Lofty Block
 Data Deficient   (IUCN: CR D)   [taxonomic issues]
Northern Flinders (FLB05) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [outlier]
South Olary Plain (MDD01)Murray Darling Depression
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [southern limit; atypical habitat]
Braemer (MDD07) 
 Data Deficient   [taxonomic issues]
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. Gaudichaudii named after Charles Gaudichaud-Beaupre (1789-1854), a French botanist who sailed on Freycinet expedition (1817-20) to Australia and named a few Australian genus. Parviflorus from the Latin 'parvus' meaning small and 'floris' meaning flower.
Found on the eastern side of South Australia, growing on flats or low rises in red sand, loam or clayloam, sometimes with stones or gravel particles, growing in open eucalypt and mulga (Acacia aneura) woodland or shrubland, grassland or herbfields. Also found in Queensland and New South Wales.
Native. Uncommon in South Australia. Common in the other states.
Plant description:
Erect herbs to 70 cm high with stems and leaves sparsely hairy. Leaves narrowly obovate or narrowly elliptic, rarely subspathulate or ovate, basal leaves usually withered and senescent by anthesis, to 65 mm long and 8 mm wide, stem leaves to 47 mm long and 5 mm wide. Inflorescences terminal,  globose, shortly cylindrical, or hemispherical to 2 cm long with 35 yellow flowers, with hairs at base. Flowering between August and October. This subspecies is distinguish from the other subspecies found in South Australia by having perianth 7.5–9 mm long and style 4.5–5 mm long while Ptilotus gaudichaudii ssp. gaudichaudii has perianth 10–15 mm long and style 7–10.5 mm long.
Fruit type:
Yellow-brown globular or cylindrical head containing numerous long papery and hairy fruits, each containing one seed.
Seed type:
Orange-brown reniform seed to 1.5 mm long and 1 mm long.
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 viability:
From one collection, the seed viability was high, at 80%.
Seed germination:
Seeds are non-dormant, viable seed should germinate readily.
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
BGA830 (2.61 g)50+20-Aug-2010KHB462
Flinders Ranges
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.