Plants of
South Australia
Calocephalus sonderi
Compositae
Pale Beauty-heads
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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 painting: 1.

Etymology

Calocephalus from the Greek 'kalos' meaning beautiful and 'kephale' meaning a head, referring to the colourful compound heads. Sonderi named after Dr. Otto Sonder (1812-1881), a German pharmacist, botanist at RBG Kew and editor of Flora Capensis.

Distribution and status

Found along the Murray River in South Australia from Waikerie to the border growing in grassland or open woodland on sandy to clay soils. Also found in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. Native. Rare in South Australia. Rare in Queensland. Common in the other States.
Herbarium region: Murray
NRM region: South Australian Murray-Darling Basin
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Annual herb with erect or ascending branches, to 50 cm high, woolly, grey to silvery. Leaves mostly alternate, linear to lanceolate, to 3 cm long and 2 mm wide, tomentose. Daisy heads broadly ovoid to spheroid, broadly ellipsoid, pale yellow or white in some forms. Flowering between October and March. Fruits are dense round pale yellow head. Seeds are three-sided brown seed to 0.7 mm long and 0.5 mm wide with a tuberculate surface. Seed embryo type is spatulate.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between October and May. Collect heads that are matured, pale yellow, 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 two collections, the seed viability was high, ranging from 95% to 100%. Seeds are non-dormant, viable seed should germinate readily. Germination 100% on 1% agar, incubated at a constant 20°C, 8/16 dark/light. See http://data.kew.org/sid

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
66,000 (4.55 g)
66,000 (4.55 g)
100+17-May-2006PJA125
Murray
14-Sep-200695%+5°C, -18°C
BGA68,800 (4.96 g)50+12-Oct-2012DJD2406
Murray
27-Feb-2014100%+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.
Germination table:
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