Gunniopsis, from the genus Gunnia named after Ronald Campbell Gunn (1808-1881), a Tasmanian botanist, and from the Greek 'opsis', meaning resemble, alluding to the resemblance of this genus to the genus Gunnia. Calcarea from the Latin 'cakareus', meaning limestone, alluding to the restriction of this species to the Nullarbor Plain, on skeletal calcareous soils.
Distribution and status
Found in the far west in South Australia along the Great Australian Bight, growing on skeletal calcareous brown earths, especially in shallow depressions, with Halosarcia and Maireana species and in open places in low mallee-Melaleuca scrubland. Also found in Western Australia. Native. Rare in South Australia. Uncommon in Western Australia.
Herbarium regions: Nullarbor, Flinders Ranges
NRM regions: Alinytjara Wilurara, South Australian Arid Lands
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)
Small branching perennial shrub to 20 cm high; covered with shield-like scales. Leaves lanceolate, bright-green, to 30 mm long and 4 mm wide. Flowers solitary, bright yellow. Flowering possible all year, depending on rainfall. Fruits are brown capsule to 6.5 mm long, with two valves. Seeds are small dark brown to black reniform seed to 1 mm long, covered with round tubercules. Seed embryo type is peripheral.
Seed collection and propagation
Collect seeds between January and December. Pick mature capsules when they turn a straw colour and contain hard dark seeds. Place the capsules in a tray and leave to dry for at least a week. Then rub the dried capsules 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 one collection, the seed viability was high, at 100%.
|No. of seeds
|4,000 (1.22 g)
4,000 (1.22 g)