Plants of
South Australia
Gunniopsis calva
Aizoaceae
Smooth Pigface
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 4.

Etymology

Gunniopsis from the genus Gunnia, named after Ronald Campbell Gunn (1808-1881), a Tasmanian botanist, and from the Greek 'opsis', meaning resembling, alluding to the resemblance of this genus to the genus Gunnia. Calva from the Latin 'calvus', meaning hairless, smooth, referring to the smooth branches and leaves of this species.

Distribution and status

Endemic to South Australia and found on northern Eyre Peninsula and in the Gairdner-Torrens region, growing around the margins of salt lakes. Native. Uncommon in South Australia.
Herbarium regions: Gairdner-Torrens, Eyre Peninsula
NRM region: South Australian Arid Lands
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Glabrous annual herb to 20 cm high, with terete and striated branchlets. Leaves succulent, ovate, spathulate or oblong; yellow-green, to 32 mm long and 10 mm wide. Flowers small yellow solitary. Flowering between August and October. Fruits are brown depressed capsule to 5.5 mm across, with two valves. Seeds are small brown reniform seed to 0.7 mm long; covered with short curved ridges. Seed embryo type is peripheral.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between October 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 two collections, the seed variability was high, at 100%.

Seeds stored:
  Hide
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
BGA 
MSB
13,200 (1.59 g)
13,200 (1.59 g)
50+1-Nov-2005DJD162
Gairdner-Torrens
28-Jul-2006100%-18°C
BGA 
MSB
10,900 (1.53 g)
10,900 (1.53 g)
50+7-Nov-2005MKJ98
Gairdner-Torrens
28-Jul-2006100%-18°C
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.