Plants of
South Australia
Actites megalocarpus
Dune Thistle
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
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Actites from the Greek 'aktites' meaning coast dweller, referring to the habitat of the species. Megalocarpa from the Greek 'megas' meaning large and 'carpos' meaning fruit, referring to the species' large heads.

Distribution and status

Found along the coast in South Australia, on coastal dunes and cliffs. Also found in Western Australia, Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other States.
Herbarium regions: Eyre Peninsula, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, Northern and Yorke, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Fleshy perennial herb to 40 cm high, forming large clumps. Leaves oblanceolate to elliptic or lanceolate to 17 cm long and 4.5 cm wide, either tapering at base or cordate and sessile, margins sinuate-toothed. Large flower heads to 2 cm diameter, yellow sometimes pale-purple towards base. Flowering between September and February. Fruits are large fluffy daisy-heads. Seeds are long brown, semi-flat ovoid seed to 8 mm long and 2 mm wide, with thin wings on either side. Seed embryo type is spatulate fully developed.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between November and March. Collect heads that are brown with fluffy white pappus and easily removed with your fingers. If only seeds collected, no further cleaning is required. If whole heads are collected, then place the heads in a tray for a week to dry. Then remove the seeds from the head with your fingers. They should come off easily. 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 80%. Seeds are non-dormant, viable seed should germinate readily.

Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage

3,900 (5.13 g)
South Eastern
BGA1,500 (1.47 g)1022-Nov-2007RJB76077
South Eastern
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.