Plants of
South Australia
Maireana microcarpa
Chenopodiaceae
Small-fruit Bluebush
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 2.

Etymology

'Maireana', after the 19th century French botanist, Adolphe Lemaire and 'microcarpa,' meaning small-fruited.

Distribution and status

Found in low lying seasonally water-logged areas. Mainly recorded to the north and north east of Eyre Peninsula Native, common in South Australia and New South Wales, less common in Northern Territory and Queensland.
Herbarium regions: Lake Eyre, Gairdner-Torrens, Flinders Ranges, Eastern, Eyre Peninsula
NRM regions: Eyre Peninsula, South Australian Arid Lands
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Weak shrub to 40 cm high with slender branches, white-woolly when young. Leaves alternate, obovoid, fleshy and glabrous. Flowers and fruits from May to November. Fruits are fruiting perianth glabrous, dark, rarely pale-brown on the wing; tube shortly cup-shaped, 1.5 mm high, c. 2 mm diameter. Simple, horizontal wing with a single radial slit. Seeds are ellipsoid to circular brown convex seed. Seed embryo type is peripheral

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between May and November. Collect seeds when fruits are brown and papery. Check inside several fruits for the presence of well-developed seed before making a collection. Strip or shake fruiting branches into a container. Remove twigs and other plant material.

Seeds stored:
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LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
BGA2,000 (7.3 g)5020-May-2007RJB71997
Gairdner-Torrens
19-Sep-200860%-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.