Newcastelia, named in honour of Henry Pelham Clinton, 5th Duke of Newcastle (1811-1868), who was Secretary of State for the Colonies between 1852 and 1854 and supplied funds for the north-western Australian Government Expedition of 1855. Bracteosa, from Latin meaning having many or large bracts.
Distribution and status
Found in the far north-western corner in South Australia, growing in red sandy soils, on sandplains or associated with (on or between) dunes or sand ridges, in spinifex grasslands, sometimes dominated by shrublands of Acacia or Eucalyptus species. Also found in Western Australia and Northern Territory. Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other States.
Herbarium region: North Western
NRM region: Alinytjara Wilurara
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)
Spreading shrub to 90 cm high, with erect stems and branches covered in dense hairs. Leaves, sessile, decussate; oblong-lanceolate, with recurved margins; to 25 mm long and 7 mm wide, with very dense hairs. Flower-spike, terminal, slender, long and cylindrical with purple-violet flowers. Flowering between August and November. Fruits are white-grey woolly obovoid to globose fruit.
Seed collection and propagation
Collect seeds between October and January. Collect mature fruit-heads turning a straw-colour. Rub the fruit with your hands to see if there is any mature seed, before collecting. Collect by breaking off the whole fruit spike. Place the fruit-spikes in a tray and leave to dry for two weeks, then rub the capsules gently by hand or with a rubber bung to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate 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.