Seeds of South Australia
Senecio psilocarpus (Compositae)
Smooth-fruited Groundsel
List of species for Senecio
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Seed collecting:
November to March
Herbarium region:
South Eastern
NRM region:
South East
IBRA region
Bridgewater (NCP01)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D2)   [in wet, freshwater areas, limited habitat]
Glenelg Plain (NCP02) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [stronghold is Honans]
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 Senecio]
Name derivation:
Senecio from the Latin 'senex' meaning an old man; referring to the white pappus attached to the seed. Psilocarpus from the Greek 'psilos' meaning bare or naked and 'carpos' meaning fruit, referring to the species glabrous achenes.
Found in the lower South-east in South Australia, growing in swamps. Also found in Victoria and Tasmania.
Native. Rare in South Australia. Rare in the other states.
Plant description:
Erect glabrescent herb to 80 cm high, mostly unbranched below inflorescence and arising annually from a perennial rootstock. Upper leaves oblanceolate to lanceolate, to 12 cm long and 13 mm wide, remotely dentate or denticulate, glabrous, or occasionally sparsely hispid along margins. Inflorescence with 2–34 capitula with yellow ray-less daisy flowers. Flowering between October and February. This species is similar to Senecio squarrosus and have a similar distribution but can be distinguished by have a sparser covering of hairs, shorter capitula and glabrous achenes.
Fruit type:
Large daisy-head with exposed pappus.
Seed type:
Brown oblong seed to 2.5 mm long and 0.5 mm wide, glabrous with a few striation and white pappus.
Embryo type:
Spatulate fully developed.
Seed collecting:
Collect heads that are large and fluffy. Either pick off the whole heads or use your finger and pull off the seeds from the head. Mature seeds will come off easily.
Seed cleaning:
Place the heads in a tray for a week to dry. No cleaning is required if only pure seeds are collected. If heads are collected, then rub the heads gently with your hands to dislodge the seeds. Viable seeds will be fat and hard. 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 four collections, the seed viabilities were average to high, ranging from 70% to 100%.
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
21403 (1.4554 g)
13063 (0.8883 g)
South Eastern
14-Sep-200670%+5°C, -18°C
BGA11700 (2.31 g)5023-Nov-2007RJB75936
South Eastern
19-Sep-2008100%+5°C, -18°C
BGA7400 (1.22 g)5023-Nov-2007RJB75901
South Eastern
19-Sep-200885%+5°C, -18°C
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.