Plants of
South Australia
Cuphonotus andraeanus
Cruciferae
Downy Mother-of-misery
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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: 4.

Etymology

Cuphonotus from the Greek 'kyphos' meaning bent, humped, curved and 'notos' meaning the back, referring to the pod-valves being rounded on the back. Andraeanus named after Hans Andrae (1883-1890), who collected plants from around Pulpulla and Cobar in New South Wales.

Distribution and status

Found in far north around Marla in South Australia growing on red loam soil. Also found in Western Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland and New South Wales. Native. Rare in South Australia. Uncommon in Northern Territory. Common in the other States.
Herbarium regions: North Western, Lake Eyre
NRM regions: Alinytjara Wilurara, South Australian Arid Lands
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Annual herb with branched inflorescences to 25 cm high, hairy; hairs simple, flattened, terete or twisted. Basal leaves linear to spatulate, to 30 mm long, entire, almost succulent; stem leaves reducing. Flower-spike terminal with white, pink or yellow flowers. Flowering between August to September. Fruits are red-brown elliptic pod to 5 mm long, compressed, almost smooth. Seeds are orange flat reniform seed to 1.5 mm long and 1 mm wide. Seed embryo type is bent.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between September and November. Collect maturing pods, those turning reddish brown with orange seeds inside. Be gentle with the pods as they split open easily. Whole plant can also be collected. Place the pods in a tray and cover with paper to prevent seeds from popping out and leave to dry for a week. Then rub the dried pods 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. From one collection, the seed viability was high, at 100%. This species has physiological dormancy that need to be overcome for the seed to germinate.

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
4,800 (1.86 g)
4,800 (1.86 g)
20+2-Nov-2010TST1084
North Western
1-Jan-2012100%-18°C
BGA36,000 (10.8 g)50+16-May-2014DJD2898
North Western
1-Jan-2016100%-18°C
BGA34,300 (13.55 g)30-Aug-2016DJD3363
Lake Eyre
1-Nov-2017100%+5°C, -18°C, -80°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.
Germination table:
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