Plants of
South Australia
Calocephalus lacteus
Compositae
Milky Beauty-heads
Display all 9 images
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
Enlarge Map
Copy Map
Copy Map
Display IBRA region text

Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 2.

Etymology

Calocephalus from the Greek 'kalos' meaning beautiful and 'kephale' meaning a head, referring to the colourful compound heads. Lacteus from the Latin 'lac' meaning milky, referring to the white bracts that surround the flowers.

Distribution and status

Known only from one area in the South-east in South Australia, growing in grassy, low-lying areas subject to inundation, tolerating a degree of salinity. Also found in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. Native. Very rare in South Australia. Rare in Tasmania and New South Wales. Common in Victoria.
Herbarium regions: Southern Lofty, South Eastern
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Ascending perennial herb to 70 cm high with hairy branches. Leaves opposite, or the uppermost ones alternate, obovate to oblanceolate or linear, to 5 cm long and 4.5 mm wide, tomentose; the midrib and often two lateral veins prominent. Daisy heads whitish, globular, ellipsoid to ovoid, to 1.5 cm long. Flowering between November and February. Fruits are dense round white to greyish-white head. Seeds are three-sided brown seed to 2 mm long and 1 mm wide with dense tuberculate surface. Seed embryo type is spatulate.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between January and April. Collect heads that are matured, greyish-white, a bit spongy and contain brown seeds. Place the heads in a tray for one to two week to dry. Then rub the heads gently with your hands to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate any unwanted material. Viable seeds will be small and brown. 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 three collections, the seed viability was high, ranging from 90% to 100%. Seeds are non-dormant, viable seed should germinate readily.

Seeds stored:
  Hide
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
BGA 
MSB
18,500 (2 g)
18,500 (2 g)
50+10-Apr-2006DJD398
South Eastern
14-Sep-200695%+5°C, -18°C
BGA8,400 (0.85 g)40+3-Apr-2007DJD781
South Eastern
1-Aug-2007100%+5°C, -18°C
BGA7,600 (0.8 g)623-Feb-2008RJB77421
South Eastern
19-Sep-200890%+5°C, -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.