Seeds of South Australia
Pycnosorus melleus (Compositae)
Honey Buttons
List of species for Pycnosorus
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Seed collecting:
July to January
Herbarium region:
Lake Eyre
NRM region:
South Australian Arid Lands
IBRA regions
Dieri (SSD03)Simpson Strzelecki Dunefields
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Sturt Stony Desert (CHC02)Channel Country
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Diamantina-Eyre (CHC04) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Coongie (CHC06) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(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 Pycnosorus]
Name derivation:
Pycnosorus from the Greek 'pyknos' meaning dense or thick and 'soros' meaning heap, referring to the dense flowering heads of the genus. Melleus from the Latin 'melleus' meaning honey-coloured or honey-like, referring to the pale honey-yellow colour of the compound head, which is different from the darker, golden colour of other Pycnosorus species.
Found in the far north-eastern corner of South Australia, growing on dry watercourses and alluvial flats. Also found in Queensland.
Native. Rare in South Australia. Rare in Queensland.
Plant description:
Ascending or erect herb to 25 cm high with stems arising from a woody tap-root. Leaves linear to narrow-ovate to 35 mm long and 5 mm wide, decreasing in length up the stem, long hairs above and woolt hairs below. Inflorescence a cylindrical compound head, pale honey in colour, to 38 mm long and 11 mm wide, mostly more than twice as long as wide. Flowering between June and December, but probably dependent on time of rainfall.
Fruit type:
Dense pale cylindrical heads with numerous seeds.
Seed type:
Brown ellipsoid seed to 1.5 mm long and 0.5 mm wide, covered in long white hairs.
Embryo type:
Spatulate fully developed.
Seed collecting:
Collect heads that are drying off, fluffy and turning yellow-white with hard brown seeds. Pick off whole heads or pluck off mature seeds with your fingers.
Seed cleaning:
Place the heads in a tray and leave to dry for one to two weeks. Then rub the heads gently by hand to dislodge the seeds. 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 98%.
Seed germination:
Seeds are non-dormant, viable seed should germinate readily.