Seeds of South Australia
Ptilotus spathulatus (Amaranthaceae)
Spoon-leaved Pussy-tail
List of species for Ptilotus
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Seed collecting:
October to January
Herbarium regions:
Flinders Ranges, Eastern, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern
NRM regions:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
IBRA regions
Kangaroo Island (KAN01)Kanmantoo
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [(no records)]
Fleurieu (KAN02) 
 Near Threatened   (Probable Decline)   [undercollected; threatened by weeds & roadsides]
Mount Lofty Ranges (FLB01)Flinders Lofty Block
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   (Probable Decline)   [threatened by weeds & urban development]
Northern Flinders (FLB05) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [(no records), northern edge of range]
Central Flinders (FLB06) 
 Least Concern   [should be more records]
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. Spathulatus from the Greek 'spathulata' meaning shaped like a spatula (spoon-shape); referring to the spoon-shaped leaves.
Distribution:
Found in the southern regions of South Australia, growing in areas of moderate rainfall. Also found in Western Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.
Status:
Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other states.
Plant description:
A procumbent perennial herb spreading from a rosette to 40 cm across. Leaves slightly fleshy. Flowers are yellow with pink tips, cone-shaped heads appearing in spring and summer.
Fruit type:
A cone-shaped head containing numerous, long papery and hairy fruits. Each fruit contains one seed.
Seed type:
Brown reniform seeds 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 germination:
Seeds are non-dormant, viable seed should germinate readily.
Germination table:
DateResultT0T50Pre-treatment | Germination medium | Incubator: Photoperiod / Thermoperiod
Mar-14100%8 d8 d
1% agar;
Incubated under spring/autumn conditions
Mar-14100%8 d8 d
1% agar;
Incubated under winter conditions
Oct-1360%7 d7 d
1% agar;
Incubated under summer conditions
Oct-1356%7 d7 d
1% agar;
Incubated under spring/autumn conditions
Oct-1354%7 d7 d
1% agar;
Incubated under winter 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)