Plants of
South Australia
Gunniopsis septifraga
Aizoaceae
Green Pigface
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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. Septifraga means to break, referring to the way the capsules break open, where the valves break away but remain attached to the common axis.

Distribution and status

Found scattered across northern South Australia growing in extremely saline areas, along the edges of, or on the damp bottoms of salt lakes, salt pans or depressions. Also found In Western Australia, Northern Territory and New South Wales. Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other States.
Herbarium regions: North Western, Lake Eyre, Nullarbor, Gairdner-Torrens, Eyre Peninsula
NRM regions: Alinytjara Wilurara, South Australian Arid Lands
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Glabrous or sparsely pubescent annual herb; prostrate or erect to 10 cm high. Leaves broadly linear to narrowly obovate; fleshy, to 12 mm long and 5 mm wide. Flowers solitary, greenish, yellowish or white. Flowering between July and October. Fruits are brown ovoid to sub-globose capsule to 4.5 mm long; 4 valves but appearing like 8 valves, tapering to a beak-like apex. Seeds are small light brown ovoid seed to 0.5 mm long, covered with round tubercules. Seed embryo type is peripheral.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between September 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%.

Seeds stored:
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LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
 
MSB

28,000 (4.87 g)
10-May-2007RJB71616
Eyre Peninsula
100%
BGA59,500 (2.86 g)30+21-Sep-2014JRG123
North Western
1-Jan-2016100%-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.