Seeds of South Australia
Calocephalus sonderi (Compositae)
Pale Beauty-heads
List of species for Calocephalus
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Seed collecting:
October to May
Herbarium region:
NRM region:
South Australian Murray-Darling Basin
IBRA region
Murray Scroll Belt (RIV06)Riverina
 Rare   (IUCN: RA ab)   (Probable 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. Sonderi named after Dr. Otto Sonder (1812-1881), a German pharmacist, botanist at RBG Kew and editor of Flora Capensis.
Found along the Murray River in South Australia from Waikerie to the border growing in grassland or open woodland on sandy to clay soils. Also found in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.
Native. Rare in South Australia. Rare in Queensland. Common in the other States.
Plant description:
Annual herb with erect or ascending branches, to 50 cm high, woolly, grey to silvery. Leaves mostly alternate, linear to lanceolate, to 3 cm long and 2 mm wide, tomentose. Daisy heads broadly ovoid to spheroid, broadly ellipsoid, pale yellow or white in some forms. Flowering between October and March.
Fruit type:
Dense round pale yellow head.
Seed type:
Three-sided brown seed to 0.7 mm long and 0.5 mm wide with a tuberculate surface.
Embryo type:
Seed collecting:
Collect heads that are matured, pale yellow, 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 two collections, the seed viability was high, ranging from 95% to 100%.
Seed germination:
Seeds are non-dormant, viable seed should germinate readily. Germination 100% on 1% agar, incubated at a constant 20°C, 8/16 dark/light. See
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
66000 (4.55 g)
66000 (4.55 g)
14-Sep-200695%+5°C, -18°C
BGA68880 (4.96 g)50+12-Oct-2012DJD2406
27-Feb-2014100%+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-1366%6 d6 d 250mg/L gibberellic acid 5 d;
1% agar;
12/12;  /  20°C
Jun-1322%6 dNA
1% agar;
12/12;  /  20°C
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)