Plants of
South Australia
Dicrastylis verticillata
Chloanthaceae
Whorled Sand-sage
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Adelaide
Arkaroola
Ceduna
Coober Pedy
Hawker
Innamincka
Marla
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Oodnadatta
Renmark
Wudinna
Keith
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock painting: 1.

Etymology

Dicrastylis from the Greek 'dicroos' meaning forked and 'stylos' meaning a style, alluding to the deeply 2-branched style. Verticillata refers to the leaves and flowers arranged in whorls, or seemingly so.

Distribution and status

Found on the northern Eyre Peninsula and in the Murray region in South Australia, growing in mallee on deep red sand. Also found in New South Wales. Native. Common in South Australia. Uncommon in New South Wales.
Herbarium regions: Gairdner-Torrens, Eyre Peninsula, Murray
NRM regions: Eyre Peninsula, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Low shrub to 65 cm high; stem grey-tomentose, with branchlets 3 per node. Leaves 3 at a node, sometimes more, sessile; narrow-linear or linear-lanceolate, obtuse, with recurved margins; to 2.2 cm long and 4 mm broad, rugose and pubescent above, grey-tomentose beneath. Flower-spike terminal, with white flowers, unequally 5-lobed arranged in verticillate clusters of 3 cymes per axil. Flowering between September and December. Fruits are white spongy ball. Seeds are woody orange ovoid seed to 2.5 mm long and 2 mm wide, covered in hairs.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between December and March. Collect mature fruits that are white and spongy. May need to collect a lot as most will not have any viable seeds. Place the fruit in a tray and leave to dry for 1 to 2 weeks. Then rub the dried fruits with a rubber bung to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate any 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 low, at 10%.

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
4,600 (7.97 g)
4,600 (7.97 g)
50+7-Feb-2006DJD377
Eyre Peninsula
28-Jul-200610%-18°C
BGA3,500 (5.98 g)21-Dec-2017Ironstone CP30-Jun-201865%-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.