Plants of
South Australia
Menkea australis
Cruciferae
Fairy Spectacles
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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: 2.

Etymology

Menkea, named after Karl Theodor Menke (1791-1861), a German malacologist, physician and botanist. Australis, means of, or from the sout, referring to the distribution of the species in the Southern hemisphere.

Distribution and status

Found scattered across South Australia growing in a variety of habitats on sandy, often disturbed soils. Also found in Western Australia, New South Wales and Victoria. Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other States.
Herbarium regions: North Western, Lake Eyre, Nullarbor, Gairdner-Torrens, Flinders Ranges, Eastern, Eyre Peninsula, Northern Lofty, Murray, South Eastern
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Alinytjara Wilurara, Eyre Peninsula, Northern and Yorke, South Australian Arid Lands, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Prostrate herb with stems to 25 cm long; glabrous. Basal leaves spatulate, entire to pinnate; stem leaves narrow-obovate, entire or shallowly lobed. Inflorescence an elongating spike' with tiny white to pink or mauve flowers. Flowering between May and December. Fruits are brown elliptical pod to 7 mm long and 3.5 mm wide; slightly flattened. Seeds are dark brown ellipsoid seed to 0.6 mm long and 0.4 mm wide, with a slightly wrinkled surface. Seed embryo type is bent.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between August and February. Collect maturing pods turning pale brow, with hard seeds inside. Take care 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.

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
20,400 (0.27 g)
20,400 (0.27 g)
50+27-Sep-2016DJD3431
Gairdner-Torrens
1-Nov-201790%-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.
Germination table:
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