Plants of
South Australia
Pycnosorus eremaeus
Yellow Drumsticks,
Golden Billy-buttons
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
Least concern
Near threatened
Critically endangered
Data deficient
Coober Pedy
Mount Gambier
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock painting: 1

Prior names

Craspedia chrysantha, partly

Common names

Yellow Drumsticks

Golden Billy-buttons


Pycnosorus from the Greek 'pyknos' meaning dense or thick and 'soros' meaning heap, referring to the dense flowering heads of the genus. Eremaeus from the Greek 'eremos' meaning solitary, referring to its remote inland distribution.

Distribution and status

Found in the north and north-eastern parts of South Australia, growing on heavy or rocky soils. Also found in the Northern Territory and Queensland. Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other states.
Herbarium regions: Lake Eyre, Flinders Ranges
NRM region: South Australian Arid Lands
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Ascending or erect herb with stems arising from a woody tap-root, to 35 cm high. Leaves linear-ovate to narrow-spathulate, to 60 mm long and 6 mm wide, decreasing in length up the stem, hairy on both surface with a distinct white margin. Inflorescence a single ovoid or globose compound golden-yellow head to 25 mm long and 13 mm wide, mostly less than tice as long as wide. Flowering between June and December, but probably dependent on time of rainfall. Fruits are dense pale ovoid to globular heads with numerous seeds. Seed embryo type is spatulate fully developed.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between July and January. Collect heads that are drying off, fluffy and turning yellow-white with hard brown seeds. Pick off whole heads or pluck off mature seeds with your fingers. Place the heads in a tray and leave to dry for one to two weeks. Then rub the heads gently by hand to dislodge the seeds. 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. Seeds are non-dormant, viable seed should germinate readily.