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 regions:
Southern Lofty, South Eastern
NRM regions:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, South East
IBRA regions
Glenelg Plain (NCP02)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Data Deficient   [questionable record]
Lucindale (NCP03) 
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D2)
Mount Lofty Ranges (FLB01)Flinders Lofty Block
 Regionally Extinct   (IUCN: )   (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 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.
Known only 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 tuberculate 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 was 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.