Plants of
South Australia
Dissocarpus fontinalis
Chenopodiaceae
Spring Burr
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
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Adelaide
Arkaroola
Ceduna
Coober Pedy
Hawker
Innamincka
Marla
Marree
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Oodnadatta
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Keith
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock painting: 1.

Etymology

Dissocarpus from the Greek 'dissos' meaning two fold and 'carpos' meaning fruit, referring to the paired fruits of the original species. Fontinalis meaning from fountains or springs, alluding to its habitat often near a spring.

Distribution and status

Found scattered across the north-eastern part of South Australia, often growing near springs. Also found in Queensland and New South Wales. Native. Common in South Australia. Rare in Queensland. Uncommon in New South Wales.
Herbarium regions: Lake Eyre, Gairdner-Torrens, Flinders Ranges, Eastern
NRM region: South Australian Arid Lands
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Rounded perennial to 60 cm high with slender, woolly branches. Leaves slender, semi-terete to 10 cm long, covered in woolly hairs. Flowers in dense woolly clusters, perianth narrow-cylindrical, the upper third divided into erect narrowly triangular lobes. Flowering possibly throughout the year. Fruits are a persistent woody ball with irregularly shaped flattened or spine-like spikes protruding out of the thick hair covering. Seed embryo type is peripheral.

 

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between January and December. Collect fruit that are large and hard from the plant or off the ground. Place the fruits in a tray and leave to dry for 1-2 weeks. No further cleaning is required if only the fruits are collected. Store the dried fruit heads with a desiccant such as dried silica beads or dry rice, in an air tight container in a cool and dry place. Germination by seed scarification (covering structure removed).

Seeds stored:
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LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
BGA 
MSB
1,600 (297 g)
1,600 (297 g)
50+20-Sep-2016JRG444
Lake Eyre
1-Nov-2017100%-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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