Seeds of South Australia
Ptilotus propinquus (Amaranthaceae)
Gammon Ranges Fox-tail
List of species for Ptilotus
Display more images
Click on an image to enlarge it
Seed collecting:
October to December
Herbarium region:
Flinders Ranges
NRM region:
South Australian Arid Lands
IBRA region
Northern Flinders (FLB05)Flinders Lofty Block
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [limited habitat, endemic to SA]
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. Propinquss from the Latin 'propinquus' meaning a relation, kinsman, or near; referring to the close relationship of this species to several other taxa in this complex.
Endemic to South Australia and found in a small area in the Gammon Ranges, growing on bare shaly clay soil, on ironstone hills, gypseous breakaways or rocky gullies, with Casuarina over chenopods, or with scattered mallees.
Native. Rare in South Australia.
Plant description:
Much branched, strongly divaricate, rounded, subspinescent shrub to 60 cm high. Younger stems striate, glabrous, glaucous, grey-green, older wood brown. Leaves sessile, ovate or obovate, to 3.5 mm long and 1 mm wide, clustered with up to 7 leaves at young stem shoots, fleshy, glabrous on upper surface, lower surface with scattered hairs near base, grey-green, glaucous, apices mucronate, margins flat. Flower-spike short open clusters to 5 cm long, with 10–50 pink or purple flowers.
Fruit type:
Creamy with pinkish tinged, ovoid head containing numerous long papery and hairy fruits, each containing one seed.
Seed type:
Dark brown to reddish reinform seed to 2.5 mm long and 2 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 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 two collections, the seed viability were high, ranging from 90% to 100%.
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
Flinders Ranges
BGA670 (1.27 g)50+14-Dec-2010KHB553
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.