Plants of
South Australia
Heliotropium pachyphyllum
Boraginaceae
Thick-leaved Heliotrope
Display all 24 images
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
Enlarge Map
Copy Map
Copy Map
Display IBRA region text

Botanical art

Kath Alcock painting: 1.

Etymology

Heliotropium from the Greek 'helios', meaning sun and 'tropos', meaning turn, probably alluding to an early belief that the flowers turned to face the sun. Pachyphyllum from the Greek 'pachys', meaning thick and 'phyllon, meaning leaf.

Distribution and status

Found in the north-eastern part of South Australia, at Mount Fitton and Cooper Creek area, growing on calcrete rises, red sand plain and in skeletal soils on sandstone range. Also found in Western Australia and Northern Territory. Native. Very rare in South Australia. Common in the other States.
Herbarium regions: North Western, Lake Eyre, Eastern
NRM regions: Alinytjara Wilurara, South Australian Arid Lands
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Perennial, ascending to spreading-ascending herb to 60 cm tall, with dense silky hairs on the stems, leaves and calyx. Leaves elliptic, ovate to obovate to 40 mm long and 18 mm wide' plain to slightly rugose, flat (and often very slightly revolute), dense, silky hairs. Inflorescence long spike with white to pale yellow bell-shaped flowers. Flowering throughout the year, depending on rain. Fruits are brown ovate capsule, hairy. Seeds are whitish to pale brown sectoroid seed to 2.5 mm long and 1.5 mm wide, covered in long white hairs. Seed embryo type is spathulate fully developed.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between January and December. Collect mature capsule, those that are drying off, turning brown and containing dark, hard seeds inside. Can collect individual fruit cluster or break off whole heads. Place the capsules in a tray and leave to dry for one to two weeks. Then rub the fruits gently by hand 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 two collections, the seed viability was average, at 60%.

Seeds stored:
  Hide
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
BGA20350+4-Sep-2013KHB710
Flinders Ranges
27-Feb-201460%-18°C
BGA300 (0.427 g)50+22-Apr-2015DJD3117
Lake Eyre
1-Jan-201660%-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:
  Display