Plants of
South Australia
Arabidella glaucescens
Bluish cress
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 2.


Arabidella a diminutive of 'arabis 'which is a Greek word for mustard or cress. Glaucescens from Latin meaning becoming glaucous, alluding to the bluish-green appearance of the plant.

Distribution and status

Found in north and north-eastern parts of South Australia growing in a wide variety of habitats, especially disturbed areas. Also found in the Northern Territory and Queensland. Native. Common in South Australia. Uncommon in the Northern Territory. Common in Queensland.
Herbarium regions: North Western, Lake Eyre, Nullarbor, Gairdner-Torrens, Flinders Ranges, Eastern
NRM regions: Alinytjara Wilurara, South Australian Arid Lands
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Woody, rounded perennial shrub to 1 m tall, glabrous with a blue-green appearance. Leaves bi- or trisected to 7 cm long, segments linear. Flowers are white to cream along a long spike. Flowering between June and October. Fruits are numerous fat semi-flat ovoid pods on a long spike. Seeds are small semi-flat yellow reniform seeds to 1.1 mm long and 0.7 mm wide. Seed embryo type is bent.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between August and December. Pick off pods that are maturing, drying off and turning brown, with yellow seeds inside or break off section of the spike with mature pods. Place the pods in a tray and cover with paper to prevent seeds from popping out and leave to dry for a week. Then gently rub the pods 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 three collections the seed viability was high, ranging from 80% to 100%. This species has physiological dormancy that need to be overcome for the seed to germinate.

Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
5,200 (1.98 g)
2,800 (1.05 g)
Lake Eyre
BGA7,000 (0.64 g)2020-Aug-2010KHB457
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: