Plants of
South Australia
Lepidium muelleri-ferdinandi
Cruciferae
Mueller's Peppercress
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
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Near threatened
Rare
Vulnerable
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Adelaide
Arkaroola
Ceduna
Coober Pedy
Hawker
Innamincka
Marla
Marree
Mount Gambier
Oodnadatta
Renmark
Wudinna
Keith
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 5.

Etymology

Lepidium from the Greek 'lepis' meaning a scale; referring to the appearance of the fruits. Muelleri-ferdinandi named after Ferdinand von Mueller (1825-1896), botanist, plant collector and Government Botanist of Victoria.

Distribution and status

Found in the northern part of South Australia, growing in a variety of habitats in ow lying depression. 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, Flinders Ranges, Eastern
NRM regions: Alinytjara Wilurara, South Australian Arid Lands
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Erect, annual or ephemeral herb to 20 cm high, stems with long spreading hairs. Leaves to 30 mm long and 2.5 mm wide, pinnate with linear lobes, tending to fall in mature plants. Inflorescence an elongating spike with small white flowers. Flowering between July and January. Fruits are brown elliptic to ovate pod to 6 mm long and 3 mm wide, wings in upper half forming narrow notch at the apex. Seeds are orange reinform seed to 2.2 mm long and 1.2 mm wide, with fine tuberculated surface. Seed embryo type is bent.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between September and March. Collect maturing pods those turning pale brown with hard seeds inside. Be gentle with the pods as they split open easily. 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%.

Seeds stored:
  Hide
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
Number
of plants
Date
collected
Collection number
Collection location
Date
stored
% ViabilityStorage
temperature
BGA37,900 (24.58 g)50+25-Sep-2007DJD856
Lake Eyre
19-Sep-2008100%-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.