Plants of
South Australia
Leptorhynchos waitzia
Compositae
Button Immortelle
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
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Near threatened
Rare
Vulnerable
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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: 4.

Etymology

Leptorhynchos from the Greek 'leptos' meaning slender and 'rhynchos' meaning a snout; alluding to the beaked achenes of some species. Waitzia named after Karl Friedrich Waitz (1774–1848), a privy councillor of the Duchy of Saxe-Altenburg.

Distribution and status

Found across the southern part of South Australia except in the South-east, growing in open sites, often on seasonally inundated flats, with loamy soils or in coastal situations in calcareous sand or on salt flats. Also found in New South Wales and Victoria. Native. Common in South Australia. Very rare in New South Wales. Common in Victoria.
Herbarium regions: Nullarbor, Flinders Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, Yorke Peninsula, Kangaroo Island
NRM regions: Alinytjara Wilurara, Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Annual herb to 20 cm high, branching mostly from base with ascending, white-cottony stems. Leaves narrow-oblanceolate, to 4.5 cm long and 4 mm wide, reducing slightly to just below capitulum, acute, upper surface scabrous with coarse hairs, sometimes cottony, lower surface hairy or cottony, margins recurved. Flower-heads broadly campanulate, to 1.5 cm diameter; outer involucral bracts ovate with rounded apices, almost transparent, or with straw-coloured flecks or streaks, minutely glandular, margins shortly ciliate; inner bracts linear, mostly herbaceous, glandular, with scarious, acute or subacute, ciliate tips; florets yellow. Flowering between september and October. Fruits are white fluffy daisy-head. Seeds are brown ovoid seed to 4 mm long and 1 mm wide, covered in barbs and with short feathered-like papus at one end. Seed embryo type is spatulate fully developed.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between October and November. 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 two collections, the seed viability were average to high, ranging from 50% to 95%.

Seeds stored:
  Hide
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
BGA 
MSB
5,000 (0.94 g)
5,000 (0.94 g)
100+17-Oct-2006DJD600
Yorke Peninsula
1-Aug-200750%-18°C
BGA4,800 (0.77 g)100+11-Nov-2009DJD1616
Yorke Peninsula
1-Jun-201095%-18°C
BGA27,000 (6.26 g)200+16-Oct-2013KHB798
Flinders Ranges
1-Jan-2016100%-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.