Seeds of South Australia
Ptilotus pseudohelipteroides (Amaranthaceae)
Woolly Mulla Mulla
List of species for Ptilotus
Display more images
Click on an image to enlarge it
Seed collecting:
October to January
Herbarium regions:
Lake Eyre, Eastern
NRM region:
South Australian Arid Lands
IBRA region
Breakaways (STP01)Stony Plains
 Near Threatened   [should be more records from a variety]
Oodnadatta (STP02) 
 Near Threatened   [(no records) should be more records from a variety]
Witjira (STP06) 
 Near Threatened   [should be more records from a variety]
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. Pseudohelipteroides from the Greek 'pseudo' meaning false and Helipteroides means resembling the genus Helipterum; referring to the species false resemblance of Helipterum.
Found in the north central part of South Australia, growing in flats, gravelly rises and jump-ups. Also found in Western Australia, Northern Territory and Queensland.
Native. Uncommon South Australia. Uncommon in Western Australia and Queensland. Common in Northern Territory.
Plant description:
Small erect or prostrate annual herb  to 20 cm tall. Leaves to 3 cm long and 0.5 cm wide. Flower-spikes subglobose to ovoid, to 1.5 cm long and 1.2 cm with pink-purple flowers. Flowering between April and October.
Fruit type:
White to creamy, ovoid head containing numerous long papery and hairy fruits, each containing one seed.
Seed type:
Small orange-brown reinform seed to 1.1 mm long and 0.8 mm wide.
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/pinkish 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 contain 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 average, at 75%.
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
BGA3500 (1.54 g)50+4-Dec-2010DJD1959
Lake Eyre
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.