Plants of
South Australia
Cynoglossum australe
Boraginaceae
Australian Hound's-tongue
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
Least concern
Near threatened
Rare
Vulnerable
Endangered
Critically endangered
Extinct
Data deficient
Adelaide
Arkaroola
Ceduna
Coober Pedy
Hawker
Innamincka
Marla
Marree
Mount Gambier
Oodnadatta
Renmark
Wudinna
Keith
Yunta
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 4.

Etymology

Cynoglossum from the Greek 'kynoglosson', name of a plant used by Dioscorides, from the Greek 'kynos' meaning a dog and 'glossa' meaning a tongue, alluding to the shape and texture of the leaves. Australe means of or from the south, referring to the distribution of the species in Australia.

Distribution and status

Found in the far north-west and southern parts of South Australia growing in various communities from sclerophyll forest and woodland to sand dunes, also invades disturbed sites. Also found in all States. Native. Common in South Australia. Uncommon in Western Australia and Tasmania. Common in the other States.
Herbarium regions: North Western, Lake Eyre, Flinders Ranges, Eastern, Eyre Peninsula, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Annual herb to 60 cm high with one to usually several erect stems from the basal rosette, with a tap root, covered with spreading to appressed hairs. Leaves densely clustered, oblanceolate, subpetiolate but with a short sheath in the basal rosette; becoming widely spaced, lanceolate and sessile below the inflorescence, to 25 cm long and 4 cm wide; pointed, rarely with undulate margins. Flower-spike terminal with pedicellate funnel-shaped, blue flowers. Flowering between July and November. Fruits are brown fruit cluster with up to four seeds hanging along fruiting spike. Seeds are brown ovoid to globose seed to 4 mm long and 2.5 mm wide covered in barbed spines to most of the surface. Seed embryo type is spatulate fully developed.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between December and February. Collect maturing fruits, those turning brown and contain a hard seed inside, by running your hands along the fruiting spike or break off the whole spike. Wear gloves as fruits can be prickly. Place the seeds/spikes in a tray and leave to dry for two weeks. No further cleaning is required if only seed collected. If seed spikes collected, use hand to strip off the mature seeds. 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 viability was high, at 100%. Seeds are non-dormant, viable seed should germinate readily.

Seeds stored:
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LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
BGA 
MSB
11,000 (44.72 g)
11,000 (44.72 g)
50+25-Jan-2006DJD359
Southern Lofty
28-Jul-2006100%-18°C
BGA 
MSB
9,000 (41.2 g)
9,000 (41.2 g)
35+24-Jan-2006KHB47
Southern Lofty
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.
Germination table:
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