Seeds of South Australia
Atriplex papillata (Chenopodiaceae)
Coral Saltbush
List of species for Atriplex
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Seed collecting:
June to August
Herbarium regions:
Gairdner-Torrens, Eastern, Murray
NRM regions:
South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin
IBRA regions
Murray Mallee (MDD02)Murray Darling Depression
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D1+2)   [edge of range; hihgly restricted; occurs edge of salt lakes]
Gawler Volcanics (GAW02)Gawler
 Endangered   (IUCN: EN D)   [questionably natural occurrence]
Strzelecki Desert (SSD05)Simpson Strzelecki Dunefields
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D2)   [limited to salt lakes; could be declining; only 1 record]
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 orach, a saltbush; an Ancient Latin name for this plant. Papillata from the Latin 'papillae' meaning soft protuberances, referring to the prominent soft warty appendages on the fruit.
Restricted to a few sites near Loxton and Remark in South Australia; usually found in saline soil. Also found in New South Wales and Victoria.
Native. Rare in South Australia. Uncommon in New South Wales. Common in Victoria.
Plant description:
Prostrate to spreading annual or short-lived perennial herb to 20cm high, with slender branches. Leaves thick, linear to lanceolate to 20mm long with a densely grey-scaly indumentum below and sparsely scurfy above. Male and female flowers on the same plant. Male flowers in terminal axillary glomerules. Female flowers in axillary clusters of 2-4. Flowering in March to June.
Fruit type:
Small brown fruit to 4mm long, truncate or irregularly lobed; fused to near the apex, with the lower half having numerous prominent soft warty appendages; upper half smooth and flat with three short teeth. 
Seed type:
Dark-brown circular reniform seed to 1mm diameter.
Embryo type:
Seed collecting:
Rub hands through the branches to dislodge mature fruits from the plant. The mature fruit  which are pale-brown should full off easily and have a hard brown seed inside.
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 clean 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%.
Seed germination:
Seeds are non-dormant, viable seed should germinate readily.
Germination 100%, on 1% w/v agar, 8/16 dark/light, 20°C. See
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
8000 (1.834 g)
8000 (1.834 g)
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.
Germination table:
DateResultT0T50Pre-treatment | Germination medium | Incubator: Photoperiod / Thermoperiod
Jun-1266%8 dNA seeds excised from fruit;
1% agar;
Incubated under spring/autumn conditions
Jun-1242%12 dNA 30% hydrogen peroxide 10 min, water rinse;
1% agar;
Incubated under spring/autumn conditions
Jun-1240%8 dNA
1% agar;
Incubated under spring/autumn conditions
Jun-1238%12 dNA leached in water 24 h;
1% agar;
Incubated under spring/autumn conditions
Result: Maximum percentage of germination observed.
T0: Number of days before first germinant observed.
T50: Number of days to achieve 50% germination.
Pre-treatment: The initial treatment that the seeds received prior to placement on germination media.
Germination medium: The substrate that seeds were placed on for the duration of the germination experiment.
Incubator conditions:
Photoperiod: The duration of light exposure that the seeds were subject to during a 24 hour period.
Thermoperiod: The constant or diurnal temperatures that seeds were subject to during a 24 hour period.
Winter conditions: 15°C 20 h (3am→11pm); 5°C 4 h (11pm→3am) / 10 h light (8am→6pm); 14 h dark (6pm→8am)
Spring/Autumn conditions: 22°C 12 h (8am→8pm); 10°C 12 h (8pm→8am) / 12 h light (8am→8pm); 12 h dark (8pm→8am)
Summer conditions: 30°C 14 h (6am→8pm); 15°C 10 h (8pm→6am) / 14 h light (6am→8pm); 10 h dark (8pm→6am)