Seeds of South Australia
Calocephalus lacteus (Compositae)
Milky Beauty-heads
List of species for Calocephalus
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Seed collecting:
January to April
Herbarium region:
South Eastern
NRM region:
South East
IBRA region
Glenelg Plain (NCP02)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Data Deficient   [questionable record]
Lucindale (NCP03) 
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D2)
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 Calocephalus]
Name derivation:
Calocephalus from the Greek 'kalos' meaning beautiful and 'kephale' meaning a head; referring to the colourful compound heads. Lacteus from the Latin 'lac' meaning milky; referring to the white bracts that surround the flowers.
Only known from one area in the South-east in South Australia, growing in grassy, low-lying areas subject to inundation, tolerating a degree of salinity. Also found in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.
Native. Very rare in South Australia. Rare in Tasmania and New South Wales. Common in Victoria.  
Plant description:
Ascending perennial herb to 70 cm high with hairy branches. Leaves opposite, or the uppermost ones alternate, obovate to oblanceolate or linear, to 5 cm long and 4.5 mm wide, tomentose, the midrib and often two lateral veins prominent. Daisy heads whitish, globular, ellipsoid to ovoid, to 1.5 cm long. Flowering between November and February.
Fruit type:
Dense round white to greyish-white head.
Seed type:
Three-sided brown seed to 2 mm long and 1 mm wide with dense tubercule surface.
Embryo type:
Seed collecting:
Collect heads that are matured, greyish-white, a bit spongy and contain brown seeds.
Seed cleaning:
Place the heads in a tray for one to two week to dry. Then rub the heads gently with your hands to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate any unwanted material. Viable seeds will be small and brown. 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 three collections, the seed viability were high, ranging from 90% to 100%.
Seed germination:
Seeds are non-dormant, viable seed should germinate readily.
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
18500 (2 g)
18500 (2 g)
South Eastern
14-Sep-200695%+5°C, -18°C
BGA8400 (0.85 g)40+3-Apr-2007DJD781
South Eastern
1-Aug-2007100%+5°C, -18°C
BGA7600 (0.8 g)623-Feb-2008RJB77421
South Eastern
19-Sep-200890%+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.