Plants of
South Australia
Evolvulus alsinoides var. villosicalyx
Shaggy Speedwell
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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 paintings: 2

Common names

Shaggy Speedwell


Evolvulus from the Latin 'evolvere' meaning to unroll; referring to their non-twining habit. Alsinoides means resembling a species of the genus Alsine. Villosicalyx from the Latin 'villus' meaning shaggy hair and from the Greek 'kalyx' meaning cup-shaped; referring to the species hairy sepals.

Distribution and status

Found in the northern part of South Australia, growing on sand, loam and clay in claypans, along drainage lines and dunes. Also found in Western Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland and New South Wales. Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other states.
Herbarium regions: North Western, Lake Eyre, Gairdner-Torrens, Flinders Ranges, Eastern
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Perennial herbs or subshrubs with ascending or prostrate hairy stems. Leaves entire, hairy. Inflorescence axillary with a single blue/white funnel-shaped flower. Flowering throughout the year but mainly between March and August. Evolvulus alsinoides var. villosicalyx differ from the other variety E. alsinoides var. decumbens by having the peduncles shorter than or rarely equalling the leaves (much longer than the leaves in var. decumbens), pedicels 1�4 mm long (2�7 mm long in var. decumbens) and sepals 4�5 mm long, densely hairy, hairs spreading (2�3mm long, sparsely to densely hairy, hairs appressed to spreading in var. decumbens). Fruits are brown globular capsule with hairy sepals, splitting into 4 valves. Seeds are orange to brown sectoroid seed to 1.5 mm long and 1.2 mm wide, glabrous. Seed embryo type is folded.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between June and November. Collect capsules that are maturing, turning brown and contain hard seeds inside. Capsules can be opened or unopened and some seed can be collected from the ground under the plant. Place the capsules in a tray and leave to dry for one to two weeks. Then rub the capsules gently by hand or with a rubber bung 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. From one collection, the seed viability was average, at 65%. This species has physical dormancy that needs to be overcome for the seed to germinate (e.g. nicking the seed coat).

Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
BGA6,400 (6.48 g)50+29-Sep-2007DJD882
Lake Eyre
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.