Plants of
South Australia
Calotis erinacea
Compositae
Tangled Burr-daisy
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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 paintings: 5.

Etymology

Calotis from the Greek 'kalos' meaning beautiful and 'otos' meaning ear, after the first species named in the genus Calotis cuneifolia which has an ear-shaped pappus. Erinacea meaning like a hedgehog, alluding to the spiny ball fruit.

Distribution and status

Found scattered across much of South Australia except on Kangaroo Island, growing on dunes and sandy soils as a locally dominant pioneer species and also in woodland and mallee. Also found in all mainland States. Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other States.
Herbarium regions: North Western, Lake Eyre, Nullarbor, Gairdner-Torrens, Flinders Ranges, Eastern, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, South Eastern
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Alinytjara Wilurara, Eyre Peninsula, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Undershrub to 90 cm high forming a dense clumps to 1 m or more in diameter. Stems erect to decumbent, much-branched, glabrous, becoming woody at the base. Leaves sessile, linear to oblanceolate to 6 cm long and 7 mm wide, acutely dentate or rarely entire, narrowed at the base, glabrous. Flower-head in loose leafy cymes with numerous flowers, ray florets yellow. Flowering most of the year. Fruits are dark brown to black round spiny fruit-head. Seeds are brown triangular seed to 2 mm long with two short, curved and barbed spine at one end. Seed embryo type is spathulate fully developed.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between January and December. Collect mature seed heads that are dried and turning brown by picking off the heads and placing them in a paper bag. Be careful as the heads are spiny. Leave the heads in the paper bag to dry for at least a week. No further cleaning required if only the heads are collected. If other material were collected, use a sieve to separate the unwanted material. Whole heads can be stored 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 low to high, ranging from 30% to 85%. Seeds are non-dormant, viable seed should germinate readily.

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
7,100 (14.3 g)
7,100 (14.3 g)
9-Nov-2004MKJ42
Eyre Peninsula
31-Mar-200685%-18°C
BGA 
MSB
19,700 (17.22 g)
19,500 (17.07 g)
30+28-Oct-2004MOL4671
Gairdner-Torrens
31-Mar-200630%-18°C
BGA6,700 (17.22 g)1227-Sep-2007MJT104
Lake Eyre
19-Sep-200880%-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.