Plants of
South Australia
Chenopodium nitrariaceum
Chenopodiaceae
Nitre Goosefoot
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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
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 4.

Etymology

Chenopodium from the Greek 'chen' meaning goose and 'pod' meaning foot, referring to the shape of the leaves in some species. Nitrariaceum meaning resemblance to the genus Nitraria, alluding to the species' habit.

Distribution and status

Found across north-eastern South Australia growing on heavy alluvial soils, chiefly by the Murray River and its associated floodplains. Also found in all mainland States. Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other States.
Herbarium regions: North Western, Lake Eyre, Gairdner-Torrens, Flinders Ranges, Eastern, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty
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

Divaricately branched spinescent shrub to 2 m high. Leaves alternate, frequently clustered; spathulate to linear, to 5 cm long and 5 mm wide, sparsely covered with collapsed vesicular hairs. Inflorescence a terminal spinescent panicle to 15 cm long or reduced to a short spike; flowers polygamous, clustered. Flowering between March and October. Fruits are fruit enveloped by the perianth, dry; pericarp membranous, white, free, pubescent above Seeds are red-brown depressed-globular reniform seed to 1.2 mm diameter. Seed embryo type is peripheral.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between July and February. Collect fruit-heads that are maturing, turning pale brown firm black seeds inside. Place the fruits-heads in a tray and leave to dry for one to two weeks. Then gently rub the fruits with your fingers or a rubber bung to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to seperate 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 one collection, the seed viability was high, at 88%.

Seeds stored:
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LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
BGA5,800 (1.83 g)30+7-Feb-2013DJD2661
Murray
27-Feb-201488%-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:
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