Plants of
South Australia
Chenopodium erosum
Chenopodiaceae
Fire Goosefoot
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Etymology

Chenopodium from the Greek 'chen' meaning goose and 'podion' meaning little foot; referring to the shape of the leaves in some species. Erosum from the Latin 'erosus' meaning eaten away or jagged; referring to the deeply lobed leaf margin.

D: 

Found only on Kangaroo Island in South Australia, growing in mallee on sandy brown loam. Also found in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and New Zealand. Native. Very rare in South Australia, more common post fire. Rare in the other States.

Plant description

Erect short-lived, glabrous herb to 1.5 m high, almost glabrous. Leaves triangular to ovate to 15 cm long and 6 cm wide, papery, margins raggedly toothed, green and glabrous. Inflorescence large, dense spike with tiny bisexual and female flowers. Flowering between December and February. Seed round and flattened, black, glossy and deeply sculptured with radial striation, to 1.5 mm diameter. Seed embryo type is peripheral.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between December and April. Collect fruit spikes that contain hard black seeds. Spread fruits out to dry in a tray and leave one to two weeks. Then rub the capsules 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 is usually very high.

Fire Response

Obligate re-seeder, no re-sprouting observed.

Longevity: 1 year (fire ephemeral)

Time to flowering: 1 year

Recovery Work

In 2020-2021 this species was assessed post-fire in 1 year old fire scars. A total of 330,600 seeds have been collected & banked for two populations recorded in the 2020 fire scar at Kelly Hill CP. This species was previously known in South Australia from a single 1950s collection from Kangaroo Island. Germination screening testing the response to fire cues will be undertaken in 2021.This project work was undertaken with funding awarded under Greening Australia's Project Phoenix.

Distribution and status

Herbarium region: Kangaroo Island
NRM region: Kangaroo Island
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)