Plants of
South Australia
Hyalosperma demissum
Compositae
Moss Sunray
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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

Hyalosperma, from the Greek 'hyalos,' meaning glass and 'sperma', meaning a seed, refers to the transparent wing of the achenes. Demissum, from the Latin 'demissus' meaning drooping, referring to the species' habit.

Distribution and status

Found in the southern part of South Australia growing on shallow soils in a variety of habitats, often on shallow or stony soils. Also found in Western Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. Native. Common in South Australia. Rare in Tasmania. Common in the other States.
Herbarium regions: Gairdner-Torrens, Flinders Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Annual prostrate herb to 2.5cm tall with glabrous stems. Leaves opposite to alternate, to 5 mm long and 1 mm wide; triangular in cross-section or flattened cylindrical, channelled above; hairless or sparsely hairy, with smooth edges and a straight mucro. Flower-heads globular to cup-shaped to cylindrical, borne singly at the ends of the stems; surrounded by leave, with white or greenish-yellow flowers with no petals. Flowering between August and October.; Fruits are dense brown head. Seeds are light brown seed to 0.8 mm long and 0.4 mm wide, with a mesh-like surface. Seed embryo type is spathulate.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between October and December. Collect heads or whole plants that are drying off and turning brown. Each head should have numerous tiny seeds. Place the heads in a tray for a week to dry. Then rub the heads gently with your hands to dislodge the seeds. Use a fine sieve to separate the seeds from the unwanted material. Be careful as the seeds are very small. 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 high, at 90%. 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
17,300 (0.83 g)
17,300 (0.83 g)
5010-Oct-2007RJB74759
Southern Lofty
19-Sep-200890%-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.