Plants of
South Australia
Acanthocladium dockeri
Spiny daisy
Display all 10 images
Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
Display IBRA region text

Botanical art

Kath Alcock painting: 1.


Acanthocladium from the Greek 'akantha' meaning thorn and 'kladion', from 'klados' meaning a branch, referring to the spine at the end of the branchlets. Dockeri named after the Reverend Joseph Docker (1793-1865), who supported and promoted the Burke and Wills expedition.

Distribution and status

Found mainly along road reserves in the mid-north region of South Australia, growing in grassland or low grassy shrubland. Originally collected from the Riverland but 'presumed extinct' there. Presumed to be extinct in New South Wales. Now considered endemic to South Australia. Native. Very rare in South Australia. Critically endangered in Australia under the EPBC Act.
Herbarium regions: Northern Lofty, Murray
NRM regions: Northern and Yorke, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Many branching perennial shrub to 50 cm high, covered in spines and white hairs that make the plant appear grey. Inflorescence solitary at terminal of stem with yellow, rayless daisy flower. Flowering during winter and spring. Most of the flowers are sterile and so the plant reproduces mainly by suckering. Fruits are fluffy pale white daisy-head. Seeds are small cylindrical brown seeds to 3 mm long and 0.5 mm wide, covered in small transparent warts. Seed embryo type is spatulate fully developed.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between November and January. This species does not produce a lot of viable seeds. It is usually clonal but some populations do produce seeds. Collect heads that are brown. Place the heads in a tray for a week to dry. Then rub the heads gently with your hands to dislodge the seeds. Viable seeds will be round and hard. 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. Very low seed viability, less than 5% with most plants producing no viable seed. Seeds are non-dormant, viable seed should germinate readily.

Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
190 (0.08 g)
780 (0.32 g)
Flinders Ranges
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: