Plants of
South Australia
Centrolepis polygyna
Centrolepidaceae
Wiry Centrolepis
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Adelaide
Arkaroola
Ceduna
Coober Pedy
Hawker
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 9.

Etymology

Centrolepis from the Greek 'kentron' meaning a spur and 'lepis' meaning, scale, referring to the points on the bracts of Centrolepis fascicularis, the type specimen for the genus. Polygyna from the Greek 'polys' meaning many and 'gyne' meaning ovary.

Distribution and status

Found in the southern part of South Australia from the Flinders Ranges, Eyre Peninsula to the lower South-east, growing in mallee, scrub, heath and woodland on sand and other infertile soils. Also found in Western Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. Native. Common in South Australia. Uncommon in New South Wales. Common in the other States.
Herbarium regions: Flinders Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern, Green Adelaide
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

Small annual herb to 6 cm high, forming small scattered tufts, dull-green becoming red-brown after flowering. Leaves crowded, linear-subulate, acute or mucronate, terete, to 12 mm long and 0.8 mm wide, rigid, innermost leaf reduced to an obtuse scarious-hyaline sheath. Inflorescence borne on an axis (5–)15–45 mm long, hence flowers held above the leaves. Primary bracts opposite, closely sheathing, outer bract with sheath passing abruptly into ± recurved lamina 3–20 mm long, inner bract lacking lamina. Inflorescence units 1 per head-like cluster. Flowering between July and November. Fruits are small brown ovoid head at end of long stalk. Seeds are small orange-brown ellipsoid seed to 0.5 mm and 0.3 mm wide with a reticulated surface. Seed embryo type is broad.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between September and January. Collect fruit heads that are starting to dry off and turning pale straw colour by picking then off with your fingers. Place the heads in a tray for 1-2 week to dry. Then rub the heads with your hands or a rubber bung to dislodge the seeds. Pass the material through a sieve to separate the unwanted material. The finer material will contain both seeds (soft) and frass (hard) usually distinguishable from each other. With finer sieves, the seeds can be separated from the frass but this is not essential for storage or propagation. 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. Seed viability is usually high.

Seeds stored:
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LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
 
MSB

4,500 (0.19 g)
5018-Sep-2007RJB74343
South Eastern
100%
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.