Seeds of South Australia
Zygophyllum compressum (Zygophyllaceae)
Rabbit-ears Twinleaf
List of species for Zygophyllum
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Seed collecting:
June to January
Herbarium regions:
North Western, Lake Eyre, Nullarbor, Gairdner-Torrens, Flinders Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Murray
NRM regions:
Alinytjara Wilurara, Eyre Peninsula, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin
IBRA regions
Northern Flinders (FLB05)Flinders Lofty Block
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [limited habitat]
Eyre Mallee (EYB05)Eyre Yorke Block
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [gypsious habitat]
South Olary Plain (MDD01)Murray Darling Depression
 Data Deficient
Murray Mallee (MDD02) 
 Data Deficient
Myall Plains (GAW01)Gawler
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [gypsious habitat]
Gawler Lakes (GAW03) 
 Least Concern   [gypsious habitat]
Arcoona Plateau (GAW04) 
 Least Concern   [gypsious habitat]
Kingoonya (GAW05) 
 Near Threatened   [gypsious habitat]
Torrens (GAW06) 
 Least Concern
Commonwealth Hill (GAW08) 
 Near Threatened
Maralinga (GVD03)Great Victoria Desert
 Least Concern   [gypsious habitat]
Kintore (GVD04) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Yellabinna (GVD06) 
 Least Concern   [gypsious habitat]
Nullarbor Plain (NUL02)Nullarbor
 Least Concern   [gypsious habitat]
Yalata (NUL03) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [gypsious habitat]
Dieri (SSD03)Simpson Strzelecki Dunefields
 Near Threatened   [undercollected]
Warriner (SSD04) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Strzelecki Desert (SSD05) 
 Near Threatened   [edge of range]
Oodnadatta (STP02)Stony Plains
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Murnpeowie (STP03) 
 Least Concern
Witjira (STP06) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [limited habitat]
Baltana (STP07) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
IBRA regions
Northern Flinders (FLB05)Flinders Lofty BlockRare
  (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [limited habitat]
Eyre Mallee (EYB05)Eyre Yorke BlockRare
  (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [gypsious habitat]
2 of 6 subregionsMurray Darling DepressionData Deficient
6 of 8 subregionsGawlerLeast Concern
, Near Threatened
, Rare
3 of 4 subregionsGreat Victoria DesertLeast Concern
, Rare
2 of 3 subregionsNullarborLeast Concern
, Rare
3 of 4 subregionsSimpson Strzelecki DunefieldsNear Threatened
, Rare
4 of 7 subregionsStony PlainsLeast Concern
, Rare
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 Zygophyllum]
Name derivation:
Zygophyllum from the Greek 'zygon' meaning pair and 'phyllon' meaning leaf; referring to the pair of leaflets making up each leaf. Compressum from the Latin 'compressus' meaning compressed; referring to its leaflet which is appressed to each other by their upper surfaces.
Found scattered across the northern part of South Australia, growing on gypseous rises, salt lakes and salty claypans. Also found in Western Australia, Northern Territory, New South Wales and Victoria.
Native. Common in south Australia. Rare in New South Wales and Victoria. Common in the other states.
Plant description:
Erect or ascending annual herb to 25 cm high. Leaves to 45 mm long, glaucous with leaflets ovate to suborbicular, uppermost oblong, to 25 mm long and 15 mm wide, appressed to each other by their upper surfaces, apex acute to rounded. Flowers yellow with 4 sepals 4 petals and 8 stamens. Flowering between April and November.
Fruit type:
Maroon 4-angled capsule to 10 mm long, drooping, rounded at apex with a short point and 2-4 seeds per cell.
Embryo type:
Spatulate fully developed.
Seed collecting:
Collect semi-dried and dried capsules by running your hands through the stems of the plant. Mature fruits will come off easily and will have a hard and dark seed inside each segment.
Seed cleaning:
Place the capsules in a tray and leave to dry for 1 to 2 weeks, depending on the greeness of the fruit. Then rub the dried capsules to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to remove 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.