Seeds of South Australia
Ptilotus polystachyus (Amaranthaceae)
Bottle-washers
List of species for Ptilotus
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Seed collecting:
September to December
Herbarium regions:
North Western, Lake Eyre, Nullarbor, Gairdner-Torrens, Flinders Ranges, Eastern, Eyre Peninsula, Murray, Southern Lofty
NRM regions:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Alinytjara Wilurara, Eyre Peninsula, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin
IBRA regions
SUMMARY
Fleurieu (KAN02)Kanmantoo
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D2)   [Nairne, Rockleigh, outlier pops; arid sp, likes sand, could be Rare, could be adventive]
Olary Spur (FLB03)Flinders Lofty Block
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i))   (Probable Decline)   [climate change a threat]
Northern Flinders (FLB05) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [limited habitat]
St Vincent (EYB02)Eyre Yorke Block
 Regionally Extinct   [extinct in region]
South Olary Plain (MDD01)Murray Darling Depression
 Near Threatened   [edge of range; likes sand]
Braemer (MDD07) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i))   (Probable Decline)   [climate change a threat]
Murray Scroll Belt (RIV06)Riverina
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [edge of range]
Myall Plains (GAW01)Gawler
 Least Concern
Gawler Volcanics (GAW02) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Gawler Lakes (GAW03) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Arcoona Plateau (GAW04) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Kingoonya (GAW05) 
 Least Concern
Torrens (GAW06) 
 Least Concern
Roxby (GAW07) 
 Least Concern
Commonwealth Hill (GAW08) 
 Least Concern
Maralinga (GVD03)Great Victoria Desert
 Least Concern
Tallaringa (GVD05) 
 Least Concern
Yellabinna (GVD06) 
 Least Concern
Carlisle (NUL01)Nullarbor
 Least Concern
Yalata (NUL03) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Bimbowrie (BHC05)Broken Hill Complex
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i))   (Probable Decline)   [climate change a threat]
Simpson Desert (SSD02)Simpson Strzelecki Dunefields
 Least Concern   [likes sand]
Dieri (SSD03) 
 Least Concern   [likes sand]
Strzelecki Desert (SSD05) 
 Least Concern   [likes sand]
Breakaways (STP01)Stony Plains
 Least Concern   [likes sand]
Oodnadatta (STP02) 
 Least Concern
Witjira (STP06) 
 Least Concern
Sturt Stony Desert (CHC02)Channel Country
 Least Concern
Coongie (CHC06) 
 Least Concern   [likes sand]
Lake Pure (CHC07) 
 Least Concern
Mann-Musgrave Block (CER01)Central Ranges
 Least Concern
Watarru (CER02) 
 Least Concern
Everard Block (CER03) 
 Least Concern
Pedirka (FIN04)Finke
 Least Concern
IBRA regions
DISPLAY ALL
Fleurieu (KAN02)KanmantooVulnerable
  (IUCN: VU D2)   [Nairne, Rockleigh, outlier pops; arid sp, likes sand, could be Rare, could be adventive]
2 of 6 subregionsFlinders Lofty BlockRare
St Vincent (EYB02)Eyre Yorke BlockRegionally Extinct
  [extinct in region]
2 of 6 subregionsMurray Darling DepressionNear Threatened
, Rare
Murray Scroll Belt (RIV06)RiverinaRare
  (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [edge of range]
8 of 8 subregionsGawlerLeast Concern
, Rare
3 of 4 subregionsGreat Victoria DesertLeast Concern
2 of 3 subregionsNullarborLeast Concern
, Rare
Bimbowrie (BHC05)Broken Hill ComplexRare
  (IUCN: RA d(i))   (Probable Decline)   [climate change a threat]
3 of 4 subregionsSimpson Strzelecki DunefieldsLeast Concern
3 of 7 subregionsStony PlainsLeast Concern
3 of 4 subregionsChannel CountryLeast Concern
3 of 3 subregionsCentral RangesLeast Concern
Pedirka (FIN04)FinkeLeast Concern
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. Polystachyus from the Greek 'poly' meaning many and 'stachys' meaning spike; possibly referring to the species many erect flower-spikes.
Distribution:
Found across the drier inland areas of South Australia, growing in a wide range of habitats. Also found in all mainland states.
Status:
Native. Common in South Australia. Very rare in Victoria. Common in the other states.
Plant description:
Annual or perennial herb to 1.5 m tall. Basal leaves to 21 cm long and 36 mm wide, soon withering. Stem leaves alternating along the stem, to 10 cm long and 6 mm wide, linear to flat, hairy when young, edges wavy. Flower-spikes terminal, cylindrical and solitary with fragrant, yellow-green, sometimes reddish flowers. Flowering between May and November.
Fruit type:
White to pale brown, cylindrical head containing numerous long papery and hairy fruits, each containing one seed.
Seed type:
Brown reinform seed to 2 mm long and 1.2 mm wide.
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 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 high, at 90%.
Seed germination:
Seeds are non-dormant, viable seed should germinate readily.