Plants of
South Australia
Adriana quadripartita
Coast Bitter-bush
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 7.


Adriana named after Adrien-Henri de Jussieu (1797-1853), a French botanist . Quadripartita from the Latin 'quadri' meaning four and 'partita' meaning parts, referring to the calyx with 4 sepals.

Distribution and status

Found in coastal regions of South Australia in sandy soil often associated with calcrete, in open or disturbed coastal areas. Uncommon on the West Coast of South Australia. Also found in Western Australia and Victoria. Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other States.
Herbarium regions: Flinders Ranges, Eastern, 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

Erect open, much branched shrub to 3 m high. Leaves opposite, subsessile, lanceolate to 8 cm long and 20 mm wide. Separate male and female plants. Inflorescence a spike, male reddish, 25 flowered to 10 cm long; female first red then yellowish-green, 3-5 flowered to 5 cm long. Calyx of 4 ovate-lanceolate sepals yellow to green to 6 mm long and 2.5 mm wide . Flowers between June and February. Fruits are brown ovoid capsule to 10 mm long. Seeds are brown or mottled brown, ovoid seed to 5 mm long and 3 mm wide. Seed embryo type is spathulate.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between November and April. Collect ripe fruits when they become dull in colour and seeds are mature, hard. Keep a close eye on maturing fruit as it will open and release the seeds quickly. Place the fruits in a paper bag and leave to dry for 1 to 2 weeks, until they split. Then rub the capsules gently 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. Seed viability can be variable and seeds are prone to predation. From two collections, the seed viability was average, ranging from 65% to 72%. This species has physiological dormancy that needs to be overcome for the seed to germinate.

Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
550 (12.73 g)
1,000 (23.73 g)
Southern Lofty
BGA860 (23.34 g)50+30-Jan-2013JRG49
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.
Germination table: