Seeds of South Australia
Atriplex australasica (Chenopodiaceae)
Native Orache
List of species for Atriplex
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Seed collecting:
May to July
Herbarium regions:
Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern
NRM regions:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Kangaroo Island, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
IBRA regions
Bridgewater (NCP01)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU B2ab(i,ii))   (Probable Decline)
Tintinara (NCP04) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [1 record in Poocher Swamp, not typical habitat]
Kangaroo Island (KAN01)Kanmantoo
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D2)   [likes gypsum]
Fleurieu (KAN02) 
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)   [used to be found all along south coast; coastal development a threat (Rockwell)]
Broughton (FLB02)Flinders Lofty Block
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU A1c)   (Definite Decline)
Southern Yorke (EYB01)Eyre Yorke Block
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU A1c)   (Definite Decline)
St Vincent (EYB02) 
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU A1c)   (Definite Decline)
Murray Mallee (MDD02)Murray Darling Depression
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)
Murray Lakes and Coorong (MDD03) 
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU B2ab(i,ii))   (Probable Decline)   [not picked up in surveys; loss of habitat, weeds - threats]
Braemer (MDD07) 
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU A1c)   (Definite Decline)
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 Atriplex]
SA Flora:
Flora of South Australia Edition 5
Name derivation:
Atriplex from the Latin 'atriplexum' meaning an orache, a saltbush, an Ancient Latin name for this plant. Australasica means of or from Australasia.
Found mostly in the southern Mount Lofty Ranges and Murray regions, with scattered records on York Peninsula, Kangaroo Island and South-east, growing in blackish soil near the coast. Also found in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.
Native. Uncommon in South Australia. Common in the other states.
Plant description:
Spreading to erect annual shrub to 1 m high, with quadrangular branches. Lower leaves lanceolate with a cuneate base and margin entire to deeply serrate, often hastate with forwardly directed lobes to 10mm long. Flowers along a long spike, first continuous and later in disjunct clusters. Flowering between January and April.
Fruit type:
Fruit deltoid, acute to 4 mm long and wide, united in the lower half or free to the base, entire or with 1 or 2 teeth; smooth or with a warty surface, becoming black and thickened with age. 
Seed type:
Dark brown, circular convex seed to 2 mm long and wide.
Embryo type:
Seed collecting:
Collect fruits that are starting to dry or and turn brown. Fruits can be collected directly from the bush or from the ground underneath. 
Seed cleaning:
Place the fruits in a tray and leave to dry for one to two weeks. No cleaning is required if only the fruits are collected. The seed can be stored in the fruit or can be cleaned further. Rub the fruit 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 100%.
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
42000 (38.1 g)
42000 (38.1 g)
Southern Lofty
1-Aug-2007100%+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.