Plants of
South Australia
Maireana astrotricha
Chenopodiaceae
Grey Bluebush
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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: 6.

Etymology

Maireana, named after Adolphe Lemaire, a 19th century French botanist and Greek 'astron', meaning star and 'trichos', meaning hairs, referring to the branched hairs on the leaves and stems.

Distribution and status

Found in well-drained gravelly soils in mainland South Australia from Northern Eyre Peninsula across to the eastern and northern borders; not recorded in Yorke and Fleurieu Peninsulas or the South East region. Native, common in South Australia, uncommon in Queensland. Also recorded in Northern Territory and New South Wales, near the South Australian borders.
Herbarium regions: North Western, Lake Eyre, Gairdner-Torrens, Flinders Ranges, Eastern, Eyre Peninsula, Murray
NRM regions: Alinytjara Wilurara, Eyre Peninsula, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Rounded, branched shrub to 1 m high; branches and leaves covered with branched star-like hairs; leaves alternate; fleshy, narrowly to broadly obovoid to 5-10 mm long. Flowers and fruits from June to September. Fruits are fruiting perianth wing simple, papery, horizontal; c. 15-20 mm diameter; pale- to dark-brown when dry, with a single radial slit; upper perianth convex, thick. Seeds are seed circular, convex, brown Seed embryo type is peripheral

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between June and October. Collect dry, papery fruits. Check that they contain well developed seeds before making a collection. Shake or strip fruits into a vessel. Remove twigs and other plant material. From one collection viability was 53% Seeds are non-dormant, high levels of germination were observed with no treatment.

Seeds stored:
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LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
BGA4,970 (83 g)80+6-Sep-2012KHB714
Flinders Ranges
27-Feb-201453%-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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