Lepidium from the Greek 'lepis' meaning a scale; referring to the appearance of the fruits. Oxytrichum from the Greek 'oxys' meaning sharp)and 'thrix' meaning hair; referring to the needle-like hairs on the stems and fruit.
Distribution and status
Found across the northern part of South Australia, growing on sandy and loamy soils. 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, Nullarbor, Gairdner-Torrens, Flinders Ranges, Eastern, Eyre Peninsula, Murray
NRM regions: Alinytjara Wilurara, Eyre Peninsula, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)
Erect ephemeral or annual herb to 30 cm high, stems with needle-like hairs and often purple on mature plants. Basal leaves pinnate to bipinnate, to 10 cm long, stem leaves reducing to remotely toothed. Inflorescence an elongating spike with tiny white flowers. Flowering between June and September. Fruits are brown elliptic to obovate pod 5 mm long and 4 mm wide, with scattered needle-like hairs and wings in upper half forming an open notch at the apex. Seeds are orange reinform seed to 1.7 mm long and 1 mm wide, with fine tuberculated surface. Seed embryo type is bent.
Seed collection and propagation
Collect seeds between August and November. 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.