Plants of
South Australia
Brachyloma ericoides ssp. bicolor
Kangaroo Island Brush Heath
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock painting: 1.


Brachyloma from the Greek 'brachys' meaning short and 'loma' meaning a fringe or edge; alluding to the hairs or scales in the throat of the corolla tube. Ericoides from Greek meaning heath-like; possibly referring to the resemblance to plants in the genus Erica. Bicolor from the Latin 'bis' meaning twice and 'color' meaning colour, referring to the distinctive contrasting pale green corolla tube and orange lobes of the flower.

Distribution and status

Endemic to South Australia and found only on Kangaroo Island, growing in mallee woodland on sandy soil or on limestone. Native. Common in South Australia.
Herbarium region: Kangaroo Island
NRM region: Kangaroo Island
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Woody, perennial shrubs to 90 cm high. Leaves linear-lanceolate, to 16 mm long and 2 mm wide, tapering into a fine, pungent tip, glabrous, with a short stalk. Flowers solitary, axillary, bell-shaped with pale green sepals and corolla tube and bright orange corolla lobes. This subspecies is easily distinguishable from the mainland subspecies by the uniformly pink flowers in B. ericoides ssp. ericoides. Flowering between August and October. Fruits are pale green globular fruit with a thin flesh and a woody seed. Seeds are brown woody semi-flattened globular seed to 3.5 mm long and 4 mm wide, with 5 major and 5 minor longitudinal ribs. Seed embryo type is linear under-developed.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between October and December. Collect the fruit that are maturing, starting to turn pale green or yellowish with a hard woody seed inside. Place the fruits 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 100%. 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
BGA2,500 (95 g)6716-Oct-2015TST1234
Kangaroo Island
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: