Plants of
South Australia
Acrotriche patula
Shiny Ground-berry
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 4.


Acrotriche from the Greek 'akron' meaning summit and 'thrix' meaning hair, alluding to the tuft of hairs at the tip of the corolla lobes. Patula from the Latin 'patulous' meaning spreading slightly.

Distribution and status

Found mainly along the coast of South Australia but also inland on Eyre and Yorke Peninsulas and the Lofty Ranges, on sandy ironstone and on coastal limestone in mallee scrub. Also found in Western Australia. Native. Common in South Australia. Common in Western Australia.
Herbarium regions: Nullarbor, Eastern, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern
NRM regions: Alinytjara Wilurara, Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Rigid divaricately branched shrub to 100cm high and 60cm across, with red-brown young branches and grey older stems. Leaves thick, rigid, flat to slightly concave to 16mm long and 8mm wide; acute to acuminate, strong pointed tip; base obtuse to cordate; margins entire or serrulate towards the apex, both surfaces glabrous. Flowers pale-green appearing between June and September. Fruits are red fleshy, spherical or depressed-globular fruit to 5mm by 6mm. Seeds are woody, pale-brown seed to 3mm long and 3mm wide. Seed embryo type is linear underdeveloped.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between October and December. Collect berries that are ripe, red in colour and with soft flesh and a hard seed inside. Place the berries in a bucket of water and rub the flesh off with your hands. Drain the water and wash again if required to remove all the flesh. Then spread the wet seeds on some paper towel and leave to dry. 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 90%. This species is generally difficult to germinate, it has morphophysiological dormancy and complex germination requirements.

Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
20,000 (200 g)
20,000 (200 g)
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.