Plants of
South Australia
Flaveria trinervia
Clustered Yellow-tops,
Speedy Weed,
Yellow Twin-stem
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Distribution by Herbarium region
Coober Pedy
Mount Gambier

Botanical art

Kath Alcock painting: 1

Prior names

Oedera trinervia

Flaveria australasica

Common names

Clustered Yellow-tops

Speedy Weed

Yellow Twin-stem


Flaveria from the Latin 'flavus' meaning yellow; referring to a yellow dye made from a Chilean species. Trinervia from the Latin 'tri' meaning three and 'nervum' meaning nerve; referring to the leaves with 3-veins.

Distribution and status

Found in the north-east part of South Australia, growing in many types of wet habitats on saline and alkaline soils and highly disturbed areas. Also found in Western Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland and New South Wales. Naturalised. Common in South Australia. Common in the other states.
Herbarium regions: Lake Eyre, Gairdner-Torrens, Flinders Ranges, Eastern
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Much-branched erect or procumbent annual herb to 75 cm tall with opposite branches often pinkish-red, mostly hairless. Leaves opposite, yellowish-green, narrowly elliptic to oblanceolate, to 75 mm long, 3-veined from the base, narrowing at the base into a pseudo-petiole, margin more or less finely toothed. Flower heads numerous in congested axillary and terminal heads, yellow with very short ray-florets. Flowers throughout the year. Fruits are creamy-brown papery head. Seeds are black long ovoid seed to 3 mm long and 0.8 mm wide, with a number of striations Seed embryo type is spatulate fully developed.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between January and December. Collect heads that are matured, drying off and turning pale brown with hard black seeds. Place the heads in a tray for one to two week to dry. Then rub the heads gently with your hands to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate any 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 95%. Seeds are non-dormant, viable seed should germinate readily.

Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
BGA22,000 (8.78 g)30+22-Aug-2010MJT297
Lake Eyre
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.