Amaranthus from the Greek 'a' meaning not and 'marantos' meaning withering; a name used for an everlasting flower. Mitchellii named in honour of Sir Thomas Mitchell (1792-1855), a surveyor, explorer and botanical collector.
Distribution and status
Found in the arid north of South Australia, growing on drainage lines, floodplains or banks of watercourses in grey clay particularly after flooding events. Also found in Western Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland and New South Wales. Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other states.
Herbarium regions: North Western, Lake Eyre, Gairdner-Torrens, Flinders Ranges, Eastern, Eyre Peninsula
NRM regions: Alinytjara Wilurara, Eyre Peninsula, South Australian Arid Lands
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)
Erect or ascending annual or ephemeral herb to 60 cm high. Leaves on petioles to 40 mm long, ovate or narrowly ovate to oblong. Flower-spike axillary, dense, globose clusters or short spikes to 10 mm long, predominantly female flowers present. Flowers throughout the year. Fruits are clusters of globular papery capsules to 1.5 mm long. Seeds are semi-flat round black seed less than 1mm across. Seed embryo type is peripheral.
Seed collection and propagation
Collect seeds between September and April. Collect mature capsules, those that are turning a pale straw colour and contain black seeds. Whole stem containing many clusters of fruit can be collected. Place the capsules/stems in a tray and leave to dry for two weeks. Then rub the capsules/stems gently by hand to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate the unwanted material. Be very 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. From one collection, the seed viability was low, at 35%. Seeds are non-dormant, viable seed should germinate readily.
|No. of seeds
|20,000 (2.34 g)
|9,800 (5.54 g)