Plants of
South Australia
Leptorhynchos squamatus ssp. squamatus
Compositae
Scaly Buttons
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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: 3.

Etymology

Leptorhynchos from the Greek 'leptos' meaning slender and 'rhynchos' meaning a snout; alluding to the beaked achenes of some species. Squamatus from Latin 'squama' meaning scale.

Distribution and status

Found on Eyre and Yorke Peninsulas, Flinders Ranges, Mount Lofty Ranges, Kangaroo Island and the south-east in South Australia, growing in a variety of situations, from sclerophyll forest to mallee and scrub, on clay-loam or sandy soils. Also found in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other states.
Herbarium regions: 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

Perennial herb to 40 cm tall, with tufted roots and numerous ascending stems loosely enveloped in fibrous leaf bases. Stems and branches moderately to sparsely hairy, with broad-based slender hairs. Leaves oblanceolate to linear, with revolute margins, acuminate to apiculate, sessile at the base, becoming sheathing below, to 3 cm long and 5 mm wide, on the upper side moderately to sparsely hairy, underside closely white-woolly-tomentose. Flower-heads terminal on stalk to 15 cm long; involucral bracts extending down peduncle, mostly scarious, colourless or brown-tinged; innermost strongly reflexed at maturity. Florets yellow, female florets few or absent. Flowering between September and December. Fruits are white fluffy daisy-head. Seeds are brown oblong-eliptical seed to 3 mm long and 0.5 mm wide, covered in fine tubercules and with long feathered-like papus at one end. Seed embryo type is spatulate fully developed.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between November and January. Collect heads that are fluffy. Either pick off the whole heads or use your finger and pull off the seeds from the head. Mature seeds will come off easily. Place the heads in a tray for a week to dry. No cleaning is required if only pure seeds are collected. If heads are collected, then rub the heads gently with your hands to dislodge the seeds. Viable seeds will be fat and hard. 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. From three collections, the seed viability were high, ranging from 85% to 100%.

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
15,200 (3.78 g)
15,200 (3.78 g)
10018-Jan-2006DJD353
Southern Lofty
14-Sep-200685%-18°C
BGA1,800 (0.25 g)5011-Nov-2009TST876
Yorke Peninsula
1-Jun-2010100%-18°C
BGA5,100 (0.62 g)40+21-Dec-2010Frances
South Eastern
1-Jan-2012100%-18°C
BGA30,000 (2.63 g)10016-Oct-2013KHB799
Flinders Ranges
1-Jan-201665%-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.