Seeds of South Australia
Ptilotus symonii (Amaranthaceae)
Symon's Mulla Mulla
List of species for Ptilotus
Display more images
Click on an image to enlarge it
Seed collecting:
September to January
Herbarium region:
NRM region:
Alinytjara Wilurara
IBRA regions
Nullarbor Plain (NUL02)Nullarbor
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))
Hampton (HAM01)Hampton
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))
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. Symonii named after David Symon (1920-2011), South Australian botanist, renowned worldwide for his study of the Solanaceae family.
Found in the far south-western part of South Australia, growing on limestone plains in low rocky rises and floodplain. Also found in Western Australia.
Native. Rare in South Australia. Uncommon in Western Australia.
Plant description:
Much-branched perennial herb with several long prostrate stems to 50 cm long arising from a rhizome. Herb low creeping or sprawling upwards amongst bushes with young shoots slightly tomentose with appressed hairs vanishing downwards with age. Branches with scattered small oblong-lanceolate leaves, upper ones often aciculate. Inflorescent solitary spike at terminal of branchlets with yellowish-green to straw-coloured flowers with perianth reddish fading to green-yellow and creamy. Flowering between June and February.
Fruit type:
Straw-coloured globular head containing numerous long papery and hairy fruits.
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 germination:
Seeds are non-dormant, viable seed should germinate readily.