Plants of
South Australia
Sarcozona praecox
Aizoaceae
Early Noon-flower
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Keith
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 3.

Etymology

Sarcozona from the Greek 'sarkos' meaning flesh and 'zone' meaning involucre; referring to the cup-shaped base of the involucre. Praecox from Latin meaning premature or early-ripening; possibly referring to the species earlier flowering than other pigfaces.

Distribution and status

Found across the central part of South Australia, growing in mallee, woodlands and salt lakes on sandy loam and clay loam. Also found in Western Australia, New South Wales and Victoria. Native. Common in South Australia. Rare in Victoria. Common in the other states.
Herbarium regions: North Western, Lake Eyre, Nullarbor, Gairdner-Torrens, Flinders Ranges, Eastern, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray
NRM regions: Alinytjara Wilurara, Eyre Peninsula, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Erect to decumbent perennial succulent to 0.5 m high and 1 m diameter. Leaves fleshy to 10 cm long and 8 mm thick, the uppermost pair commonly enclosing more than half the ovary, surface with fine wrinkles. Flowers large pink daisy-like flowers at the end of stems with no stalk. Flowering between July and October. Fruits are dry brown capsule. Seed embryo type is peripheral.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between October and January. Collect mature fruits, those that are fat and turning red with brown seeds inside or collect capsules that are brown and dried. If fruits are fresh, break open the fruits and wash the content in water. Drain the liquid leaving behind the seeds. Place the wet seeds onto paper towels and leave to dry. If fruits are dried, rub the fruits with a rubber bung to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate the unwanted material. Be careful as the seeds are very small. 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. Seeds are non-dormant, viable seed should germinate readily.