Plants of
South Australia
Omphalolappula concava
Burr Stickseed
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
Least concern
Near threatened
Critically endangered
Data deficient
Coober Pedy
Mount Gambier
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Prior names

Cynoglossospermum concavum

Lappula concava

Echinospermum concavum

Cynoglossum concavum


Omphalolappula refer to the mericarps of this genus which were thought to be intermediate between those of genera Omphalodes and Lappula. Concava from Latin meaning concave; alluding to the mericarps.

Distribution and status

Found across much of South Australia, except Kangaroo Island and the South-east, growing in a range of habitats such as mallee scrubs, lake margins and saline flats. Also found in all mainland states. Native. Common in South Australia. Uncommon in Queensland. Common in the other states.
Herbarium regions: North Western, Lake Eyre, Nullarbor, Gairdner-Torrens, Flinders Ranges, Eastern, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, Green Adelaide
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, 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 or spreading annual to 35 cm high, covered densely with hairs. Leaves sessile or subsessile, narrow-obovate to oblong, to 4 cm long and 6 mm wide, apex acute or obtuse, base cuneate, margins flat. Inflorescences with few blue flowers.Bracts about as long as pedicels, pedicels to 10 mm long. Sepals narrow-elliptic to lanceolate, to 3 mm long. Corolla to 3.5 mm long, glabrous, blue, tube much longer than the oblong lobes, throat scales saccate. Anthers to 0.5 mm long, tapering to a point. Style to 0.5 mm long. Flowering between July and October. Fruits are brown fruit cluster with a n umber of seeds hanging along fruiting spike. Seeds are brown irregular-shaped seed to 8 mm long and 10 mm wide, surface concave and with few short large spines. Seed embryo type is spatulate fully developed.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between September and December. 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 were high, ranging from 90% to 100%. Seeds are non-dormant, viable seed should germinate readily.

Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
BGA300 (0.6 g)327-Sep-2007DJD873
Lake Eyre
BGA7,700 (22.15 g)100+23-Nov-2010KHB478
Flinders Ranges
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: