Plants of
South Australia
Brachyscome exilis
Finger-leaved Daisy
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 4.


Brachyscome from the Greek 'brachys' meaning short and 'kome' meaning hair, referring to the tufts of short bristles or hairs of the pappus. Exilis from the Latin 'exile' meaning thin, slender, alluding to its wiry appearance.

Distribution and status

Found in the southern part of South Australia from the Eyre Peninsula to the lower South-east, growing on red sandy soil in bluebush, and saline flats. Also found in Western Australia, New South Wales and Victoria. Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other States.
Herbarium regions: Gairdner-Torrens, Flinders Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Annual herb to 18 cm high with erect to ascending, weak, slender, hairless stems. Basal leaves oblanceolate, entire to lobed, to 4 cm long and 8 mm wide, narrowed at the base, hairless. Upper leaves entire to lobed, broad to 2 cm long and 5 mm wide. Flowers white, appearing between August and November. Fruits are small brown daisy-heads. Seeds are pale brown 4-angled seed to 1.5 mm long and 0.5 mm wide, with short scattered hairs. Seed embryo type is spatulate fully developed.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between October and January. Pick heads that are maturing, drying off, with brown seeds that dislodge easily. Place the seed-heads in a tray and leave to dry for a week. Then gently rub the heads by hand to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate the unwanted material. 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 four collections, the seed viability was low to high, ranging from 10% to 98%. This species has physiological dormancy that needs to be overcome for the seed to germinate. Daily fluctuating temperatures representing spring, summer or winter stimulate germination. Constant temperatures are not as good for germination. Gibberellic acid and potassium nitrate can increase germination rates.

Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
BGA5,700 (1.33 g)50+7-Dec-2006PJA140
South Eastern
BGA1,320 (0.3143 g)1-Jan-2007PJA140
South Eastern
10,500 (3.18 g)
10,500 (3.18 g)
BGA13,900 (1.57 g)15-Oct-2009DJD1610
Yorke Peninsula
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: