Atriplex from the Latin 'atriplexum' meaning an orach, a saltbush, an Ancient Latin name for this plant. Acutibractea from the Latin 'acutus' meaning sharp or pointed and 'bractea' meaning bracts, referring to the pointed bracteoles. Karoniensis means of or from Karonie, possibly referring to a place in Western Australia near Emu Flat where the type specimen may have been collected from?
Distribution and status
Found in the southern part of South Australia, growing in various habitats most frequently in mallee on red earth soils or limestone-rich sandy soils. Also found in Western Australia and Victoria. Native. Common in South Australia. Rare in Victoria. Common in Western Australia.
Herbarium regions: Nullarbor, Flinders Ranges, 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)
Monoecious, erect short lived perennial shrub to 50 cm with intricately, stiff tangled branches covered in grey, mealy hairs. Leaves sessile or with short petioles; lamina usually more or less folded, to 10 mm long. Flowers in clusters, axillary or forming short interrupted spikes. Flowering between July to October. Fruiting bracteoles subsessile, swollen, oblong to narrow-deltoid, to 4 mm long, truncate with a short central triangular lobe or minutely 3-toothed; appendages absent or represented by a pair of small tubercles on each bracteole. Seed embryo type is peripheral. This subspecies can be distinguish from the other subspecies found in South Australia, A. acutibractea ssp. acutibracta which have leaves usually more or less flat, to 30 mm long; fruiting bracteoles to 8 mm long, with a narrow to stout pedicel, acuminate.
Seed collection and propagation
Collect seeds between October and January. Collect ripe straw coloured fruits, check that they contain viable seeds. Fruits can be collected directly from the bush or from the ground underneath. Remove twigs and other plant material. Place the fruits in a tray and leave to dry for one to two weeks. No cleaning is required if only the fruits are collected. The seed can be stored in the fruit or can be cleaned further. Rub the fruit 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. Seed viability can be high but seed availability can be low.