Plants of
South Australia
Amaranthus macrocarpus var. macrocarpus
Amaranthaceae
Dwarf Amaranth
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
Least concern
Near threatened
Rare
Vulnerable
Endangered
Critically endangered
Extinct
Data deficient
Adelaide
Arkaroola
Ceduna
Coober Pedy
Hawker
Innamincka
Marla
Marree
Mount Gambier
Oodnadatta
Renmark
Wudinna
Keith
Yunta
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Etymology

Amaranthus from the Greek 'a' meaning not and 'marantos' meaning withering, a name used for an everlasting flower. Macrocarpus from the Latin 'macros' meaning large and 'carpos' meaning fruit.

Distribution and status

Few collections from the Innamincka and Murray regions in South Australia, growing on floodplain. Also found in Northern Territory, Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. Native. Rare in South Australia. Rare in Northern Territory and Victoria. Uncommon in Queensland. Common in New South Wales.
Herbarium regions: Lake Eyre, Eastern, Murray
NRM regions: South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Prostrate to decumbent, glabrous annual with stems to 40 cm long. Leaves long-petiolate, elliptic to obovate to 20 mm long and 15 mm wide. Flowers unisexual, in axillary clusters. Flowering between December and March. Fruits are dark brown to black spongy, narrowly ovoid fruit. Differ from the other variety Amaranthus macrocarpus var. pallidus which has a pale straw coloured fruit. Seeds are semi-flat ovoid, black seed to 1.2 mm long and 0.8 mm wide. Seed embryo type is peripheral.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between March and May. Collect mature capsules, those that are turning black and contain hard seeds. Whole stem containing many clusters of fruit can be collected. Place the capsules/stems in a tray and leave to dry for two weeks. Then rub the capsules/stems gently by hand to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate the unwanted material. Be very careful as the seeds are very small. 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. From one collection, the seed viability was high, at 95%. Seeds are non-dormant, viable seed should germinate readily.

Seeds stored:
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LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
BGA54,000 (16.74 g)50+13-May-2008RJB77873
Eastern
19-Sep-200895%-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.